Bradley Lethbridge celebrates maiden Portsmouth goal - despite expecting not to play at Oxford

Bradley Lethbridge toasted his first Pompey goal and admitted: I didn’t think I’d be playing against Oxford.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 6:30 am
Bradley Lethbridge celebrates his maiden senior goal for Pompey. Picture: Graham Hunt

The third-year scholar got his name on the scoresheet in the 2-2 EFL Trophy draw at the Kassam Stadium.

It represented a memorable moment for the Gosport lad, who wheeled away in celebration after cancelling out Matty Taylor's opener.

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Lethbridge’s effort helped the Blues ensure they finished top of Southern Group B, after claiming a bonus point for winning the penalty shootout 5-4.

Yet the forward, who’s been on loan at Bognor this season, had no idea he’d be involved until a day before the game.

And he took his opportunity for Kenny Jackett’s side.

Lethbridge said: ‘I just didn’t think I would be playing, so when I saw my name on the team sheet then I was taken by surprise.

‘A lot of the other youngsters have been playing in the competition and I hadn’t been selected.

‘So when I saw my name on the team sheet, it felt good.

‘I only found out on Monday. When I went into training, my name was on the board in the morning, it was took me.

‘I just thought “wow” because I had been out injured, played one game for Portsmouth in pre-season and a few at Bognor.’

Lethbridge made just his third senior outing against Oxford.

Leading Pompey’s attack, he came up against two regular League One centre-backs in Rob Dickie and Elliott Moore.

It was a challenge Lethbridge had to acclimatise to and he feels it will help his promising progress. 

He added: ‘It was a lot more physical, the defenders are stronger and go and attack the ball a lot more. 

‘They just don’t want to lose the battle.

‘Southend last season was a harder game for me. I couldn’t really get into the game but I felt I got a lot more into it against Oxford.

‘I’m adapting to playing against different centre-halves and exploiting their weaknesses.

‘I thought I should have perhaps got in behind a bit more because their centre-halves weren’t the quickest.’