Pompey midfielder out to turn Jackett’s head

Theo Widdrington. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841-4476)
Theo Widdrington. Picture: Sarah Standing (170841-4476)
Luke McGee applauds the Fratton faithful after his Pompey debut against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey keeper says Fratton debut gave him ‘goosebumps’

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Pompey loanee Theo Widdrington has wasted little time in making a big impression with the Hawks at Westleigh Park.

Widdrington was brought in on a season-long loan during pre-season to cover for Brian Stock.

The youngster started the first two games of the season, performing well in both.

In his National League South debut at Chippenham Town, he came through a rugged welcome.

His performance suggested he will have little trouble coping with the physicality of the league.

From the kick off, he attempted to take the goalkeeper by surprise with an audacious shot from the halfway line.

Against Eastbourne, it took him just two minutes to make his mark with his first goal for the Hawks.

And it proved to be something special.

Picking up a headed clearance 25 yards out, the midfielder took one touch and then rifled a shot past the despairing keeper and high into the net.

He almost repeated the feat on the stroke of half-time but the stopper clawed the ball away.

The 19-year-old said: ‘I see the move to the Hawks as a chance for me to show the gaffer at Pompey what I can do.

‘It is a chance for me to get experience of men’s football and show I can cope.

‘The ultimate aim is to get into the senior team and hopefully I can get a foot in the door by doing well with the Hawks.

‘The game at Chippenham was played at 100mph and was very scrappy.

‘At the start, I spotted their goalkeeper off the line and thought why not have a go.

‘The goal against Eastbourne was bittersweet for me.

‘I will always back myself from the edge of the area and it was nice to see it fly in.

‘It was bitter, though, because my father (Tommy Widdrington) managed Borough last season.’

Considering all the problems the Hawks suffered during the summer with injuries and illness, boss Lee Bradbury has to be delighted with the start.

Four points from the first two games is highly respectable under the circumstances.

Slowly but surely some players are working their way back to full fitness.

Striker Matt Tubbs got some minutes as a second-half substitute against Eastbourne and Stock has played a bit part in both games.

Dan Strugnell remains the major concern and the defender is awaiting the results of a scan.

The Hawks travel to Wealdstone on Monday night and Bath City are the visitors to Westleigh Park on Saturday.