Striker on track for Portsmouth landmark

Oli Hawkins holds the ball up against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler
Oli Hawkins holds the ball up against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Oli Hawkins could make his 50th Pompey appearance on Saturday.

The towering striker is on track for half a century of Blues outings when Fleetwood visit Fratton Park.

Recruited from Dagenham & Redbridge for an undisclosed fee on deadline day in August 2017, Hawkins has established himself as a regular in Kenny Jackett’s squad.

As a forward, this season has provided Hawkins’ longest run in the starting XI as he bids to cement a spot in the League One promotion contenders’ side.

However, last term Hawkins was also used as a makeshift central defender, starting nine matches in a position he had barely operated in before.

During the current campaign, he has solely been employed as a striker, making 14 appearances and scoring once.

That goal arrived in last month's 2-1 victory at previous leaders Peterborough, representing the ninth of his Pompey career.

The 26-year-old was recalled to Jackett’s side for last weekend’s 2-1 win at AFC Wimbledon, turning in a fine performance.

And he will be battling Brett Pitman for the main striking spot on Saturday, with Fleetwood the next fixture for League One’s table toppers.

Overall for Pompey, Hawkins has started 35 matches and appeared as substitute on 14 occasions.