Portsmouth striker again stakes claim for starting spot

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When Joe Jacobson struck home his penalty to earn Wycombe Wanderers a point against Pompey there would have been few more frustrated than Brett Pitman.

Just three minutes earlier, the captain was set to receive all of the headlines and the plaudits for keeping Pompey top of League One.

Brett Pitman celebrates his goal against Wycombe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brett Pitman celebrates his goal against Wycombe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pitman arrived off the bench for the 69th minute with one task – to grab the Blues a match-winner against the Chairboys. 

And the marksman thought he’d done exactly that when he headed home Jamal Lowe’s cross four minutes for full-time.

The goal sent his team-mates and the Fratton faithful into raptures as they thought he’d snatched Pompey a late winner.

Celebrations were brief, though, as Christian Burgess brought down Fred Onyedinma in the box three minutes later, with Jacobson sending the spot-kick beyond Craig MacGillivray.

Overall, there was disappointment Pompey didn’t hang on to three points against Wanderers.

And although he won’t be pleased about the result, Pitman will certainly feel his claim for a starting spot has been bolstered.

The former AFC Bournemouth striker has feature nowhere near as much as he’d have liked this campaign.

He’s been confined to a spot on the substitutes’ bench, with Kenny Jackett opting for Oli Hawkins to spearhead his attack.

But yet again the striker displayed his prowess and ensured he keeps giving his boss a striking decision to make each week.

During his time at Pompey, Pitman has netted some brilliant efforts – his long-range strike against Fleetwood last season the most memorable.

But the majority of his strikes during his time at Fratton Park have been inside the box, displaying all of his nous and know how to get in the right places and anticipate where the ball is going to land.

Lowe’s wonderful cross did the hard work for Pitman against Wycombe. The winger's clipped ball forced Ryan Allsop to hesitate and make the keeper unable to gather or punch clear.

Pitman darted to the back post to get himself into a position where he could not miss, nodding the effort home from close range.

His goal was his third of the season after netting against Shrewsbury and Gillingham in the Checkatrade Trophy.

That’s two more than Hawkins, despite having played far fewer minutes.

What’s more, it was Pitman’s third effort in as many appearances, with only Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis scoring more this season, while Gareth Evans has struck the same number following his strike against Gary Ainsworth’s side.

In terms of quality, there can’t be many better in League One to call upon off the bench than the Jersey-born talent.

He plundered 25 goals last campaign and is a hitman that is to be feared.

And with his latest effort against Wycombe, Pitman again highlighted his quality and how desperate he is to win back his starting berth.