Matt Clarke saw first goal coming

Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Matt Clarke revealed he predicted his dream maiden senior goal.

Clarke set Pompey on the way to their 3-0 success over Crawley with the opening goal.

I live with Ben Tollitt and told him I was going to score.

Matt Clarke

The 19-year-old powered a header past former Blues keeper Darryl Flahavan in front of the Fratton End.

It was a moment for the Ipswich loanee to savour as his first goal at first-team level arrived.

Clarke explained he had seen the moment coming however, and told team-mate Ben Tollitt that was going to be the case.

He said: ‘On a personal note, I’m delighted to get my first goal.

‘I got the space and it just flew past Flav (Flahavan), so I was pleased with that.

‘It’s the sort of moment you dream of in front of the Fratton End.

‘I live with Ben Tollitt and told him I was going to score.

‘I told him to put a tenner on it.

‘I don’t know what my odds are to be first goalscorer, but I can imagine they are pretty high!

‘The three points are most important, of course, but it was a special moment.

‘I used to play in midfield but I’ve never been much of a goalscorer.

‘So, for one to go in like that is nice for me.’

Goals from corners have been few and far between this season for Pompey.

So Clarke was delighted the work the Blues put in on the training ground paid off at last.

The defender feels scoring from set-pieces is something the team should be doing more often.

Clarke said: ‘Corners are something we work on in training and Ben (Davies’) delivery is always on point.

‘When the delivery is that good you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

‘We have a few big players so, when the delivery is good, we can be dangerous in the box.

‘It’s nice for it work. We know where we need to be.

‘It’s more intense in a match and you get blocked.

‘You can feel when you have a yard and that was fortunately the case.’

Clarke was pleased he was the man to set Pompey on their way to victory with the opener arriving after 13 minutes.

Pompey have found that early strike difficult to come by at times, but saw how it can change the pattern of a game on Saturday.

Clarke said: ‘We felt we haven’t scored early enough.

‘When that happens they then have to come out and that can help us.

‘You can see how we want to play.

‘We’re an offensive team who are organised defensively.

- JORDAN CROSS