Inspiration Pitman eyeing strong Pompey finish

Brett Pitman is eyeing a strong finale to Pompey's spluttering season after returning to inspire the side to victory.

Monday, 19th March 2018, 5:00 am
Brett Pitman celebrates his second goal at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler

Clear of the hamstring problem which had sidelined him for the previous three matches, the Blues’ leading scorer faced Oldham on Saturday.

He responded by netting twice in the opening 42 minutes to take his tally to 17 for the campaign.

There was second-half drama, however, when a blizzard delayed the game for nine minutes as the pitch was worked upon.

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Brett Pitman celebrates his second goal at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler

But Pompey were not to be denied a third win of 2018 – and a first clean sheet in 16 matches.

Now skipper Pitman has his sights on kickstarting the season once more.

He said: ‘We’ve had a tough 2018 and there are a lot of factors for that.

‘Injuries have been a massive one, so we will try to finish the season as strongly as possible.

Brett Pitman celebrates his second goal at Oldham. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘If we finish well this season then we’ll try to take it into next season.

‘It was nice to get it going again and earn a clean sheet and three points. We’ll take it and go again next week.

‘For me, it doesn’t matter how you score, it’s just nice to score, and hopefully I can now go on a little run.

‘For the first goal, I jumped as early as possible to get above the defender and managed to hang up there.

‘Once I got good contact on it I knew it was going in.

‘For the second, it’s something we spoke about, he (Johny Placide) does take chances, Connor (Ronan) caught him and I nearly caught him in the first game at home.

‘On Saturday I managed to read it and put it in.

‘If I’d have missed, there would have been a few people having a few choice words!’

Sunshine and snow punctuated the match, prompting fears it could be abandoned.

And, as captain, Pitman was at the centre of discussions with referee Seb Stockbridge.

He added: ‘In the second half it got tough and there were question marks. Credit to the ref, he managed to keep control of the situation.

‘Oldham wanted it off, the groundsman wasn’t clearing the pitch, he was just standing there – probably trying to get it as worse as possible.

‘But we probably would do the same if the shoe was on the other foot.

‘I played in one game which was called off after six minutes, but never in snow like that. In the second half when that snowstorm came you couldn’t see the ball.

‘When Jamal put me through one-on-one I couldn’t see where I was going.

‘I don’t think I was even that close with my shot!

I couldn’t see it, which was a shame because I fancied myself to score if those conditions were normal.

‘It was weird, there would be snowstorms and then the next minute bright sunshine, it was a really strange game and luckily we came out on the right side of it.’