Striker eyes Pompey goal rush

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Sol Campbell on his return to Fratton Park in December. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey hero Luke Varney toasted his first goal for eight months and vowed: I’ll keep on scoring.

The summer recruit netted a last-gasp strike to secure a 2-2 draw at Middlesbrough on Saturday.

It was a case of double debut delight, with fellow new boy David Norris also getting on the scoresheet in the season opener.

For Varney, it was the first time he had found the net in a competitive match since November 27, 2010.

On that occasion, his header gave Blackpool a 2-0 lead at Bolton, only for the clash to end in a 2-2 draw.

He subsequently went 18 matches and 253 days without a goal.

Now the 28-year-old has banished that unwanted statistic at the first time of asking in a Pompey shirt.

And he has backed himself to carry on hitting the target.

He said: ‘Strikers are always judged on goals.

‘Obviously I have moved out to the wider positions but I still want to be in and around the goals – setting them up and scoring them.

‘Hopefully that strike against Middlesbrough will give me the confidence going into the next games now.

‘It has been a long time coming.

‘My last goal was a header against Bolton in late November while I was with Blackpool.

‘I was quite unsettled from January onwards and it was disappointing not to score after that.

‘I was never worried about scoring again, though.

‘I am always in and around goals.

‘A couple of times I even played for the reserves at Blackpool and was involved in the goals, scoring against good opposition.

‘I’ve felt sharp in training since coming here and got the goal at Havant during pre-season.

‘I know it was against lesser opposition but you still have to put the ball into the back of the net.

‘It’s great to get a league goal again and now I can move on. Hopefully there is more to come.

‘I know chances will be created at Pompey, so I’m excited about the future.’

Rhys Williams looked to have given the hosts victory following his strike in the 54th minute.

Last year Pompey fought back from 2-0 down to pull off a draw at the Riverside.

This time round Varney inspired them to a point with his injury-time leveller.

And the former Crewe man believes the scoreline was fully deserved for the Blues.

He added: ‘We were piling the pressure on and were getting the ball in and around the box.

‘I decided to take off and went into the middle, hoping something might drop.

‘Thankfully it did and we managed to get off the mark. Overall we deserved it, too.

‘I spoke to Chuck (Norris) and he was obviously pleased as well.

‘You could see what it meant to the lads when it went in – everyone came over to see the Pompey faithful.

‘It was brilliant to get off the mark so early in my Pompey career.’


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