Wilson’s ‘Benjani celebration’ cut short

Charley Wilson, left, celebrates in Benjani style. Picture: Barry Zee
Charley Wilson, left, celebrates in Benjani style. Picture: Barry Zee
Pompey striker Conor Chaplin struggles to hide his disappointment

Southend 3-1 Pompey: They said what?

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The dream moment was dashed in seconds.

The feeling of pure joy quickly turned to bewilderment.

Wild goal celebrations were replaced by a desperate rush to regain composure.

Fratton Park visitors Spurs Ladies were not trudging back to the centre circle.

They were not bracing themselves for a backs-against-the-wall job to scrape a point from a match they had comfortably led 2-0.

Instead, they were pouring forward in search of a killer third goal, with their 2-1 lead still intact.

Pompey regrouped and snuffed out the danger but the damage had been done.

Charley Wilson’s fabulous first-time finish at the Fratton End was ruled out by a disputed offside flag.

The spectacular ‘Benjani celebration’ that followed it was suddenly worth nothing.

For Pompey, and for Wilson in particular, there was no magic ending to their first ever game at Fratton Park.

‘I thought I scored the equaliser which would have been fantastic because that’s my dream really, to score at Fratton Park,’ said Wilson.

‘When I scored that goal, especially with it being at the Fratton End, I did a Benjani celebration.

‘I went mad. I just thought it was a goal – I didn’t think it was offside.

‘Everyone was going “it’s offside, it’s offside” and the game kept playing.

‘I thought “what?” I was just absolutely gutted.’

Spurs did not read the script on what was supposed to be Pompey’s big day.

First-half goals from Megan Wynne and Andra Marcoci sealed the points.

Substitute Tiff Taylor netted for the Blues but it wasn’t enough.

There was no doubting Pompey’s rousing second-half display won the admiration of the home fans, though.

A fantastic crowd of 673 gave the players a standing ovation after the contest.

Wilson said: ‘The crowd was absolutely amazing. I’ve never played in front of such a big crowd like that.

‘I’ve been playing since I was five and I’m 28 now.

‘In that time, I’ve played at some stadiums but nothing like this.

‘I just hope we get the chance to play here again and we get the same support – or even more – next time.

‘Hopefully they enjoyed the ladies’ football and they come again.

‘I want to say thank you to all the fans who came along to support us.’