Match-winner Conor Chaplin savours sweet Pompey first touch

Conor Chaplin celebrates his winning goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin celebrates his winning goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
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  • Conor Chaplin has seven goals in 27 appearances this season
  • Pompey are three points away from new league leaders Plymouth
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Deadly Conor Chaplin savoured the golden first touch which booted Northampton Town off League Two’s peak.

And in the process he put Paul Cook’s side within three points of new leaders Plymouth Argyle.

Northampton have been on fire recently but Saturday was not so much about them, I thought the lads were quality

Conor Chaplin

Chaplin had been on the pitch as a substitute for under a minute before he pounced to clinch a 2-1 victory at the Sixfields Stadium on Saturday.

The 18-year-old turned home the ball after Ben Tollitt’s right-wing shot had been saved.

It was the very first touch of the game for Chaplin, who now leads Pompey’s goal charts with seven this season.

And the forward was delighted to have made such a stunning impact from the bench.

He said: ‘There is no better feeling than scoring a goal, especially when it was like that having just come on the pitch, in a big game, a top-of-the-table clash in which both teams are looking for promotion.

‘The importance of the match obviously makes it better – and it was my first touch.

‘It was a counter-attack from the corner and Adam McGurk found Ben Tollitt, who did well showed a bit of skill down the line, getting past his man and getting a yard to shoot across goal.

‘All the training with Matt Tubbs for God knows how long now helps teach you to stand in those positions.

‘If he is shooting across goal and the keeper parries it you’ve just got to stick it in. It comes at you so quickly you’ve just got to put a boot on to it.

‘If I had missed I would have been very shocked considering how close I was.

‘But I saw Ricky (Holmes) on the line so tried to get it as far away from him.

‘Northampton have been on fire recently but Saturday was not so much about them, I thought the lads were quality.

‘And a special mention for Lavs (Caolan Lavery), he was absolutely ridiculous and the quality he shows is unbelievable.

‘He ran tirelessly at the centre halves.

‘It’s easy for me to put the ball into the back of the net from four yards!’

The Cobblers had won seven successive matches in all competitions heading into Pompey’s visit.

The hosts also took a 17th-minute lead through Ryan Cresswell before Gareth Evans netted in the 32nd minute.

Then Chaplin did the rest within 60 seconds of replacing Lavery.

He added: ‘We showed the quality and experience we have in our team, driven by Doyler, Dutchie (Hollands) and the other lads, while our two centre halves were exceptional.

‘I suppose it does send a message out to other teams but we are concentrating on our own performances and our own results.

‘And we are happy with another win.’