Pompey hero savours career best

Johnny Ertl is mobbed after his maiden strike at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

Johnny Ertl is mobbed after his maiden strike at Fratton Park. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Johnny Ertl savoured the best goal of his career as he claimed a point for Pompey in their 1-1 draw with Wycombe Wanderers.

The Austrian produced a sweetly-struck volley to hammer home Dan Butler’s corner 20 minutes from time after Sam Wood had fired the visitors ahead early in the second half.

The draw was probably about the right result on the day as Wycombe showed why they have enjoyed such a positive start to the campaign.

Both sides could probably argue they had the chances to take the victory.

But while Ertl, on as a half-time substitute, was typically modest, he was delighted to register only his second goal for the club and his first at Fratton Park.

Ertl said: ‘It was just instinctive. I saw the ball coming at the right angle, there was nobody around me so I just thought “I’ll hit it”.

‘I was really happy to score here at Fratton Park.

‘I have been wanting to do that ever since I joined the club.

‘It was a good goal and I was really pleased with the finish.

‘Maybe if I could change it, it would have been at the other end.

‘But I’m not complaining too much.

‘It was a great feeling, especially when you score at home in front of our fans.’

The 31-year-old has certainly not been a prolific goalscorer throughout his career.

He has netted just six times in eight years as a professional and his only previous goal for the club came in a 2-2 draw at Cheltenham just over a year ago when he burst into a unique dance routine.

It’s no surprise he now regards Saturday’s strike as his favourite, even if he decided against throwing some shapes this time around.

He said: ‘I kept the celebration more low key this time!

‘I was just happy but there was no dancing.

‘I actually thought I was going to score before that.

‘Paul Robinson got a good flick on at a corner and I was so close to it and then Joe Devera put it over the bar.

‘It was difficult for Joe because the defender did a good job.

‘But the only goal that stands out before this one was when I was playing for Crystal Palace against Aston Villa. It 
wasn’t such a nice goal as this one – it was a header at a corner but it was in the FA Cup, so it was special.

‘As a defender or a midfielder, we tend to score the scrappy goals.

‘But I definitely enjoyed this one.’

Ertl’s strike made the difference for Pompey on the day.

But the former Rapid Vienna man paid tribute to the character of his team-mates as they fought back to gain a point.

He said: ‘I think it shows our character.

‘Sometimes it looks like it’s not your day but everyone kept working hard and trying to get back into it.

‘It shows that everyone is pulling in the same direction.’

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