Striker toasts special moment

David Nugent celebrates his late leveller against Derby
David Nugent celebrates his late leveller against Derby
Dion Donohue has signed a two-year deal at Pompey Picture: Colin Farmery

Pompey new boy’s out to continue rise

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David Nugent toasted his Pompey goal of the season after his stunning late leveller.

The Blues’ top-scorer took his tally to nine after his last-gasp equaliser against Derby on Saturday.

The former England man controlled the ball on his thigh before thundering a volley from just outside the area into the top corner.

It was another sublime finish from a player who has scored plenty of eye-catching goals of so far during the most productive campaign of his Pompey career.

Up until Nugent struck his superb leveller, it appeared Steve Davies’ spectacular first-half scissor-kick would be enough to separate the sides.

In the end, Pompey’s leading hitman popped up to secure a deserved point for Steve Cotterill’s men, in an otherwise forgettable match played in atrocious weather conditions.

And for the 25-year-old, the goal ranks as his undisputed favourite of the season.

He said: ‘It was a long punt forward, one of their lads cleared it and I cushioned it on my knee and hit it first time.

‘I saw the keeper going for it but as soon as I hit it I knew it was going in.

‘I’ve scored a few decent goals this season.

‘I’ve also scored tap-ins from six-yards out but when they come off like that one did it’s a special moment.

‘That was probably my favourite goal of the season so far.

‘There have been some decent ones but my technique on that one was perfect, it was good execution.

‘The touch on the thigh was perfect and I caught it so sweet.

‘I had one earlier in the second half when I caught the half volley too sweet.

‘If I had shanked it it would have gone into the back of the net.

‘But I got us the equaliser and that is a starting point for the team.

‘We needed that point. We wanted more but that’s a start and now we go to Doncaster.’

Pompey’s first half in particular was in stark contrast to the impressive display against QPR in the week.

Having played so well against the champions-elect, it was a plummet in performance levels against Nigel Clough’s out-of-form side.

And afterwards Nugent admitted it took a half-time rollicking from Cotterill to get back into the Derby game.

He added: ‘We matched QPR for 60 minutes, we were on top of them for 60 minutes, then there was an unlucky goal.

‘That match might have taken a lot out of us.

‘We all worked our socks off and in the first half on Saturday we looked a bit leggy.

‘We weren’t getting on the ball, we didn’t look confident and rightly the gaffer gave us a kick up the backside in the changing room at half-time and we came out fighting and showed our potential. In that first half we played terrible, we didn’t play to our ability.

‘In the second half we were fighting for each other, winning our tackles and winning headers, getting shots on target and in the end thought we could have snatched it.’