Gareth Evans claims remarkable 23-year scoring-high for Portsmouth
Gareth Evans crashed home a first-half penalty to launch the 5-1 hammering of Bradford.
In the process, he became Pompey’s most prolific midfielder over the last 23 years.
Evans has now scored 31 times since Paul Cook brought him to Fratton Park in July 2015.
Hall of Famer and fellow midfield man Alan McLoughlin netted 68 times in his 361 appearances for the Blues, an impressive statistic surely unlikely to be conquered.
Yet, in terms of football played since November 1995, even he cannot surpass the scoring tally of the free agent from Fleetwood.
It’s a remarkable return from Evans, who against the Bantams eclipsed Jed Wallace’s tally of 30 during his Blues career.
In fact, since December 1998, only four players have scored more for Pompey than the 30-year-old – all being strikers.
Yakubu leads the way during that period with 43, followed by Peter Crouch (35) and then Svetoslav Todorov (33).
Brett Pitman presently has 32 goals, just one more than Evans, who is continuing to captain Pompey during his team-mate’s ongoing sidelining.
With Pitman firmly out-of-favour at present, the long-serving midfielder could well exceed the ex-Bournemouth man’s tally during the remaining 11 League One matches this term, plus additional fixtures.
Evans’ goal output is even more impressive considering 41 of his 44 starts during the 2016-17 League Two title-winning campaign arrived while serving at right-back.
Regardless, he notched six times during that memorable season, including successfully from the penalty spot in three of the final six fixtures.
Evans appeared on the scoresheet in such a manner during the promotion-clincher at Notts County – and then the dramatic 6-1 last-day triumph over Cheltenham which claimed the title.
Incidentally, this is currently the most prolific of his four Pompey campaigns, with 12 goals from 44 appearances.
The club remain in talks to retain the 30-year-old’s service beyond this summer, when his existing deal expires.
Evans, who has settled in Knowle and married last summer, is keen to remain on the south coast and add to his 175 outings for Pompey to date.
In terms of those in the current squad matching his Blues appearances, Matt Clarke is closest with 161.