Fourth-change Chaplin etches himself into Pompey history

Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Conor Chaplin has been backed to etch himself into Pompey history by plenty of the Fratton faithful.

The forward is one of the most naturally-gifted players to come through the ranks at the Blues.

At the tender age of 20, Chaplin has already bagged himself 20 goals.

He is still 191 strikes shy of Peter Harris’ all-time Pompey goalscoring record – but a big season under Kenny Jackett is expected.

The Academy product has got age, talent and hunger on his side to smash that landmark if he remains at the club, although Alan Knight’s all-time appearance record of 801 might be a stretch of the imagination.

However, Chaplin has already scribed his name into the club’s record books – by becoming the Blues’ first-ever fourth substitute.

In the 24th minute of extra-time in Pompey’s first-round Carabao Cup loss at Cardiff City on Tuesday night, the Worthing-born talent replaced Brett Pitman.

Nicke Kabamba, Carl Baker and Ben Close had already come on for Kal Naismith, Kyle Bennett and Brandon Haunstrup, respectively.

A new rule in the competition – which is widely being introduced in more tournaments, including the latter stages of the FA Cup this season – means teams are able to make a fourth change if a match goes to extra-time.

Chaplin could not prevent Pompey from being defeated 2-1 by Neil Warnock’s Championship side.

But he could have been involved in more firsts for Pompey in Wales.

The Carabao Cup is utilising goalline technology and the ABBA penalty shootout format, which was first used in Sunday’s Community Shield clash between Arsenal and Chelsea at Wembley.

All these changes makes one wonder what will be next. Sin bins? Video replays of potential fouls? Both have been discussed.

Technology is minimising the post-match talking points we love. Fans relish having a pint after a game debating whether a goal was legitimate or not, or if a player who stayed on the pitch deserved a second yellow.

Supporters will also soon get sick of games becoming constantly stop-start as referees watch incidents back and take minutes to decide.

Chaplin has created history at Pompey. But let’s hope his next milestone is celebrating a return to the Championship – as the opposition appeal for a foul in the build-up.