‘I probably won’t hit a ball like that again!’: Dion Donohue on inspiring one of Portsmouth's most memorable FA Cup away days

The League One leaders were pitched against the side spearheading the Championship.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 10:00 am

And the Carrow Road encounter conjured up one of the best footballing moments of Dion Donohue’s career.

Matched in the third round of the FA Cup in January 2019, Kenny Jackett’s Pompey triumphed 1-0 over Norwich.

To add to the drama, the decisive goal arrived in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

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It was netted by Aston Villa loanee Andre Green – and created by a sumptuous cross-field pass by Donohue during a last-gasp counter attack.

A wonderful moment for the travelling support, players and, of course, Donohue.

He told The News: ‘That Norwich game is up there with one of my best footballing moments.

‘I recall that assist quicker than any goal I’ve scored in my career. It was the occasion, the last-minute winner, the fans, the celebration. Brilliant.

Pompey's player celebrate Andre Green's last-gasp winner at Norwich in a January 2019 FA Cup fixture: Joe Pepler

‘When I’m out and about in Anglesey, I still get people asking me about it. They pull up the goal on YouTube to show me.

‘That game is still shown on Sky Sports, I’ve been at home and sometimes it’s replayed as part of an FA Cup years programme.

‘Being involved in that goal gave me great satisfaction. It’s the last big high I’ve had from football.

‘The ball came to me in stoppage time and I’m thinking “There’s no chance I’m going to carry on running here”. I just had to get rid of it.

Dion Donohue suffered a cut to his face in the FA Cup triumph at Norwich, yet conjured up Andre Green's dramatic winner. Picture: Joe Pepler

‘Jamz (Lowe) made a run down the line, but I knew their centre-half was trying to read that pass. So I decided to switch it – and, out of the corner of my eye, I could see Andre running through the middle.

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‘It was a much harder ball than the one to Jamz. I thought “If this is right, I don’t think the defender’s going to catch him”. Then I pinged it.

‘I probably won’t hit a ball like that again!’

Dion Donohue made 48 appearances, scoring once, before leaving Pompey for Mansfield in the summer of 2019. Picture: Joe Pepler

Donohue would make just three more Pompey starts following that FA Cup triumph – and left at the season’s end.

The 28-year-old added: ‘Moving to Pompey was an eye opener, I actually couldn’t believe how big the club was.

‘I had come from Chesterfield. No disrespect to them, they gave me my first professional deal, but it's a small club and a small place. Pompey is completely different.

‘I will never forget my first day of Pompey training. I caught the taxi from the hotel to the training ground and the driver warned me never to mention Southampton in interviews. I thought “What am I getting myself into here?”.

‘It was probably hard for any club to follow Pompey. I was offered the option of another year and turned it down.

‘Perhaps I regretted that decision after joining Mansfield, that move never did feel right.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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