Pompey right-back: Conor Chaplin’s ‘frightening’ strike rate

Conor Chaplin scores Pompey's second goal against Wycombe on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Conor Chaplin scores Pompey's second goal against Wycombe on Saturday Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke has found himself back in familiar surroundings in the centre of defence in recent weeks  Picture: Joe Pepler

Back home – but Pompey defender would switch back

  • Conor Chaplin has 10 goals in 36 matches this season
  • Six of the striker’s goals have arrived from his 27 substitute appearances
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The free-scoring teenager from Worthing has broken the double figure mark for the season.

No wonder the Fratton faithful delight in claiming Conor Chaplin as one of their own.

Chappers’ goal ratio as a substitute is frightening and I think is going to be a big player for of the play-offs

Ben Davies

For a sixth time this season the Academy product clambered off the Blues’ bench to net on Saturday.

His impacts have contributed to wins against Derby, York and Northampton – and draws with Stevenage and Ipswich.

Now Wycombe can be added to the lengthening list of successful hits following a second-half intervention within seven minutes of being introduced.

That 2-1 triumph ensured Pompey are all but mathematically certain of a League Two play-off spot to keep their promotion aspirations alive.

Team-mate Ben Davies continues to be impressed with the striking talents of the youngster who still only 19.

And with Pompey facing AFC Wimbledon tonight (7.45pm), the right-back hopes Chaplin can maintain that remarkable taste for scoring.

Davies said: ‘We know what he is all about – he gets chances and scores goals.

‘Chappers works hard on the training ground and it’s great to see him do well. Give him the opportunity and he normally scores.

‘The likes of him, Ben Close and Adam Webster are as good as I have seen at any of the clubs I’ve played for in my career.

‘They are at the right club, are getting game time and that is the best thing for their development.

‘You look at Chappers and he has a bit of everything, to be fair. He’s quick, he’s strong, is a good finisher, is good on the ball.

‘He just needs to be running towards goal. Sometimes he can get bogged down coming towards the ball, but if you can give him grass in front and a chance then he is going to score.

‘He’s only young, his body is still developing and growing so it’s a case of managing him and getting him on the pitch when you can.

‘But Chappers’ goal ratio as a substitute is frightening and I think he’s going to be a big player for of the play-offs.

‘I asked him after the Wycombe game to talk me through that goal. He went to put it across the keeper and scuffed it a bit! He was due a bit of luck, though.

‘When he gets into those positions he always scores, like Marc McNulty.’

Seventh-placed Wimbledon are positioned only one point below Pompey and also expected to qualify for the play-offs.

Only Cambridge United can deprive either – and that remains a highly-improbable scenario.

Tonight’s fixture is rearranged from the end of March, when a waterlogged pitch forced its cancellation.

It will mark a reunion for Andy Barcham and Paul Robinson against their former club, while Davies is seeking that final point to confirm the Blues’ play-off presence.

He added: ‘We just need to get a point and can then start planning over the next couple of weeks.

‘Whatever happens, from now until the end of the season we are going to be geared up for the play-offs.

‘It’s a big game to play and we have to make sure we are ready and raring to go.’