Pompey boss hails surprise goalscorer

Pompey boss Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Michael Smith has not been included in this year's team photo

Striker omitted from Pompey team photo

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Andy Awford hailed his unlikely scorer after Pompey snatched a point against Wycombe Wanderers.

Johnny Ertl netted his first-ever Fratton Park goal on Saturday when he volleyed home Dan Butler’s corner in the 70th minute.

It cancelled out Sam Wood’s opener 20 minutes earlier, securing a 1-1 draw with the high-flying Chairboys.

Ertl had scored just once in his previous 74 appearances for the Blues since joining in August 2012.

And Awford was delighted with the versatile performer’s shock opportunism in front of the Milton end.

He said: ‘I remember Johnny’s tap-in at the back stick against Cheltenham away from home but Saturday was a good finish.

‘He has got it out of his feet, gone for power and wallopped it into the roof of the net. I was just relieved and delighted to see it go in.

‘We brought Johnny on at half-time as Jack Whatmough had just been booked and we needed to be more aggressive as a team in the second half.

‘I just didn’t want to go down to 10 men, so that was the reasoning.

‘Jack probably didn’t have his best game by his own high standards but he’s 18 years old – he is going to have his ups and downs.

‘I just felt it was the right thing to do to take him out of the firing line.

‘Johnny did well, though, and he can play centre-half.

‘Then we pushed him through into the middle of the park to give us that bit of protection when we went to a back four and he did that as well.

‘We were pleased and I think it was a fair result.’

The point against the Chairboys saw Pompey drop to 11th spot.