Congratulations – Chaplin on the brink of Pompey milestone

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Conor Chaplin is in line to make the 100 club at Pompey tonight.

But the striker will have to pass a fitness test on a hamstring injury to ensure he makes it a century of appearances for the Blues against Bristol Rovers.

If he does, tonight will mark a significant milestone in the Pompey graduate’s career, with the 20-year-old making huge strides at Fratton Park since making his first-team debut as a 17-year-old in the 3-2 home defeat (League Two) to Accrington on December 13, 2014.

In that time, the Worthing-born talent as firmly established himself as a firm favourite among the Fratton Faithful, with his eye for goal and passion for the club all too evident everytime he pulls on the star and cresent.

In total, Chaplin, who helped the club clinch the League Two title last season, has scored 21 goals – ranging from tap-ins to headers to the damn-right outrageous.

And amazingly, 12 of those have come from the bench, with the forward more often than not the man Pompey managers turn to in their hour of need.

Pompey striker Conor Chaplin Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey striker Conor Chaplin Picture: Joe Pepler

Indeed, with the striker currently sitting on 99 appearances for the club, 73 of those runouts have come from the bench.

But call him Pompey’s super sub at your pearl.

It’s not a tag Chaplin is comfortable with - just ask the member of the press corps who did so following his goalscoring introduction from the bench against Wigan last month.

The 4-2-3-1 formation employed by previous Blues boss Paul Cook and now Kenny Jackett often means the diminutive player who signed a new long-term deal with the Blues last season is often sacrificed for a taller target man or someone more adapt at leading the line.

But there’s no getting away from the fact that Chaplin is a natural goalscorer - and no-one excites the Fratton faithful more than the youngster when he’s got the goal in his sights.

Everyone will be hoping the front man is deemed fit to play a part in tonight’s game with Rovers.

And what better way to mark the occasion than with a goal on the ground where it all started.