Ritchie in dream land

Unlikely hero Matt Ritchie admitted he was in dream land after penning his Pompey fairy-tale.

The former Gosport Borough youth player lives a stone's throw from the Privett Park ground.

On Monday night he returned home in style as he bagged a memorable Blues hat-trick in their 4-1 friendly triumph.

Ritchie, who signed his first professional contract in the summer, was given a start on the left-hand side of midfield.

He responded by registering a deflected first before adding two more in the second half.

The 18-year-old could even have been toasting a fantastic four goals had another effort not cannoned off in the inside of the far post with the Borough keeper well beaten.

As it was, the Academy product was the star of the show against Gosport for what was Pompey's final friendly.

And afterwards a stunned Ritchie conceded he was finding it hard to take in.

He said: 'It was just unreal. I was buzzing about the whole thing.

'I count Privett Park as my home ground really, you can even see the top of the roof of where I live from the pitch. It's across the road.

'Even on a Saturday when I come in from my games with the youth team I pop in and watch the end of Gosport's game.

'I was at Gosport from the age of six and then played up until I was 13 before concentrating on Pompey.

'Normally you get 50 people behind the goal. On Monday night there were more than 2,500 there watching.

'I know everyone in the clubhouse. Even on the pitch when you look out you see people you know.

'My parents and family were also there on Monday so to get a hat-trick was unreal.

'It's taking a while to sink in. It was just an incredible night.'

Ben Sahar was the other Pompey goalscorer in front of a packed Privett Park, while Nathan Lynch grabbed Borough's effort.

Yet while Ritchie was left on cloud nine following his heroics, there was just one problem.

He can't actually remember all of his goals.

He added: 'The first goal was a bit lucky. I made sure I got it on target and it deflected past the keeper.

'For the third Jordi hit a great ball over the full- back and I was just one on one. To be honest I can't even remember the second.

'I remember that I did hit the inside of the post and should have scored another one as well when I was on the edge of the D, which was disappointing.

'It was just an amazing night.'

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