Whatmough celebrates but sets bigger Pompey goals

Jack Whatmough celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Jack Whatmough celebrates his goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
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It’s a date Jack Whatmough will look back on fondly for years to come.

But with so much football still to be played this season, the Pompey defender is eager to create many more landmark occasions that will one day be among the standout impressions in a glowing footballing CV.

Jack Whatmough scored his maiden Pompey goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jack Whatmough scored his maiden Pompey goal. Picture: Joe Pepler

For the 20-year-old, Saturday, February 25, will forever be recalled as day he scored his maiden goal for this boyhood club – a cool finish on 90 minutes against Carlisle, following his introduction as a 72nd-minute substitute.

It’s something Whatmough, whose promising career to date has unfortunately been interrupted by injuries, had been dreaming about since being welcomed into the Fratton Park fold at the age of 12.

Yet as a lifelong Pompey fan, the significance of the occasion burns deeper than his personal milestone.

The 3-0 away win against one of the Blues’ significant rivals in the race for promotion could just be the springboard everyone associated with the club has been looking for this season.

And Whatmough was delighted to play his part in a crucial victory that could be the defining moment in not only this season’s race to go up but for years to come.

‘I’ve dreamed of scoring a goal for the club I’ve played for since I was 12,’ said Whatmough.

‘This day will stay with me for the rest of my life.

‘It’s my first ever professional goal and it’s come for my hometown club, so it means a lot more to me.

‘I’ll have to watch it back on video because I’ve got absolutely no idea what I was doing but it’s fallen to me nicely and I’ve just had to take the opportunity.

‘I couldn’t really think about it, I just had to hit the target. There was a little gap I had to hit and thankfully it’s gone in.

‘For me it’s not about getting goals, though, it’s the clean sheet and the three points.

‘They are exactly what we travelled to Carlisle for. We needed that win.

‘We knew exactly what we had to do. We’ve been in that position before where we’ve had a chance to catch people and then we’ve let it slip, so to go there on Saturday and get the three points was much needed.

‘It’s a massive stepping stone for us as a club to now build on and go forward.

‘There’s 14 games left and we’ll take them one by one now.’

Whatmough’s introduction on Saturday, with the Blues changing to a 3-5-2 formation, was just his sixth League Two appearance of the season, after he picked up a knee injury at Crewe back in August.

He admitted that has frustrated him, especially with his contract up at the end of the campaign.

But he stressed his mental toughness makes him ready to go whenever called upon – as demonstrated on Saturday.

The defender added: ‘It’s been a frustrating season but I’ve had to stay mentally strong this year and I believe I have and that’s why I’ve been given the opportunity.

‘I just need to impress the gaffer with every opportunity I get.

‘I’ll maybe need to work on my goal celebration, though!

‘I tried a knee slide but I’ve two-footed the grass instead and got hammered for it!’