On Saturday I witnessed one of the greatest Fratton Park goals I can remember.
I don’t want to take anything away from lads over the years, such as Matt Taylor against Everton, Glen Johnson against Hull, Macca when Mark Crossley dropped it, Blakey’s header against Spurs and Kevin Dillon smashing a fair few in, it’s all relative.
Yet Conor Chaplin’s goal against Wycombe is right up there – and if that had occurred in the Premier League it would be shown all the time on television.
It was a truly fantastic finish from the kid, demonstrating his coolness, eye for goal and perfect execution. Once the keeper, Jamal Blackman, had decided to stay in his position, the finish was perfect, absolutely sublime.
Goals from distance look great, yet sometimes those 30-yarders are hit and hopes which look spectacular.
Whereas Conor’s was planned from the moment he lifted it over the centre-half, making it even more special. It was a wonderfully-controlled finish.
Looking at it, the ball was in the air for a long time – and keeping his eye on the ball as well as the keeper is not easy, you can lose your bearings.
Not many would have tried what Conor did next, especially from that angle, but he produced that header.
To be honest, I thought Blackman didn’t have the best of games and when that ball was airborne he should have come for it rather than stay where he was.
But in real-time he would not have expected to be beaten from there,.Conor had a lot to do and normally a striker in that position would have taken the ball down.
This is Conor Chaplin, however. What a natural talent that kid is, you cannot teach that, it’s a God-given gift.
Leam Richardson afterwards described it as ‘cheeky’ and that sums it all pretty well.
TV didn’t actually do it as much justice as real time, whether that is the camera angle or whatever I am not sure.
We’ve also had some great goalscorers over the years such as Quinny, Guy, Jermain Defoe – and Conor is going to be there or thereabouts.
He can stand among the big hitters and be a player everyone remembers over the years.
Hopefully he will stay with us through leagues, that would be tremendous. We will wait and see, although surely no-one would begrudge him going forward.