Comment: Conor Chaplin must clean up his act
Pompey head into a crunch League Two clash with Luton Town tomorrow night without their key man.
And Conor Chaplin only has himself to blame.
The teenager picked up a fifth booking of the season on Saturday for needless dissent towards referee John Brooks in the Blues’ 1-1 draw at Cheltenham.
The striker’s frustrations stemmed from a hopeful appeal for a penalty for handball against a Robins player.
It never looked like being given and Brooks had already waved away shouts for a spot-kick when Chaplin unwisely continued his failing protestations.
In the end, the match official was left with little choice but to book the front man.
And it is his accumulation of seemingly avoidable yellow cards that irked boss Paul Cook after the game.
Alongside his Whaddon Road dissent, Chaplin has twice been booked for failing to retreat from free-kicks, as well as seeing yellow for kicking the ball away and diving.
Now 65 games into his professional career, youthful exuberance can no longer be offered up as an excuse by the 19-year-old.
Be it frustration or immaturity which has got the much-sought-after striker banned, Chaplin knows he can ill afford to miss out on crucial games like the Kenilworth Road clash.
And it will be sitting uncomfortably in the stands tomorrow night that the rueful teenager will hopefully learn his lesson.