Pitman on brink of rare Pompey scoring landmark

Brett Pitman stands on the brink of becoming the first Pompey player to smash through the 20-goal barrier in 15 years.

Monday, 26th March 2018, 6:00 pm
Updated Monday, 26th March 2018, 6:40 pm
Brett Pitman is on 19 goals for the season

And, also, only the third since Guy Whittingham’s club-record haul of 47 in the 1992-93 campaign.

The Blues skipper netted twice in the second half of Sunday’s eventful televised victory over Oxford United.

That 3-0 triumph secured a first Fratton Park win in two months and 26 days – while represented Pitman’s 19th of the season in all competitions.

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Svetoslav Todorov scored 26 goals during the 2002-03 season for Pompey

Svetoslav Todorov must now be locked in his sights – a striker unchallenged since 2002-03.

Crowd-favourite Toddy registered 26 times – all arriving in Division One – to fire Harry Redknapp’s side to Premier League promotion.

Since then, in league terms, Yakubu (16), Jed Wallace (14), Kal Naismith (13) and David Nugent (13) have featured prominently in Pompey’s goal charts.

Yet Pitman currently stands on 18 league strikes – with eight matches remaining.

Guy Whittingham enjoyed a club-record haul of 47 goals during the Blues 1992-93 season

That brings him level with Peter Crouch and Gerry Creaney, who, before Todorov’s feat, each struck 18 goals in Division One campaigns.

In terms of season totals, however, Pitman is firmly on target to eclipse the duo and stake a rare claim in modern Blues history.

Whittingham actually broke the 20-goal barrier in successive campaigns during 1989-90 (24) and 1990-91 (20) as he established himself as a fearful striking machine.

However, in 1992-93 he shattered Billy ‘Farmer Boy’ Haines’ league record of 40 goals, eventually totalling 47, to subsequently earn a Premier League move to Aston Villa.

Svetoslav Todorov scored 26 goals during the 2002-03 season for Pompey

To date, Creaney – the Scot recruited by Jim Smith to replace Whittingham’s goals – is one of only two players to reach the 20-goal mark since.

That was in 1994-95, when he netted 22 times in 45 outings, before moving to Manchester City in September 1995 as part-exchange and cash for Paul Walsh.

Crouch came close in 2001-02, scoring 19 times before being sold to Aston Villa days after Graham Rix had been dismissed as manager by Milan Mandaric.

Meanwhile, in Pompey’s maiden Premier League campaign of 2003-04, Yakubu scored 19 goals in 43 appearances in all competitions to narrowly miss out on the landmark.

Guy Whittingham enjoyed a club-record haul of 47 goals during the Blues 1992-93 season

The following season he registered 17 times, before securing a switch to top-flight rivals Middlesbrough.

More recently, Jed Wallace netted 17 times from midfield for the Blues in 2014-15, prompting Kenny Jackett to sign him for Wolves.

Others to have also reached the 17-goal mark include John Aloisi (1998-99), Lee Bradbury (1996-97) and Colin Clarke (1990-91).

Meanwhile, the exploits of Kal Naismith should not be overlooked, claiming 15 goals overall during last term’s League Two title-winning campaign.

Today, it’s all eyes on Pitman – the summer recruit from Ipswich.

Surely it is when, not if, he becomes that fabled 20-goal-a-season Pompey striker.