‘I heard the Fratton Park crowd shout “shoot”, so I did’: Portsmouth’s Goal of the Season winner toasts unlikely accolade

Despite aged just 22, Hayden Carter doesn’t expect to emulate that glorious strike during the remainder of his career.

Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 4:55 am

And, such was its breathtaking execution, he departs Pompey clutching the 2021-22 Goal of the Season Award.

It was March when Carter strode forward to unleash a fierce right-footed effort from 25 yards in a 3-2 success over Oxford United.

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Those present at the glittering ceremony were asked to choose between Carter, Marcus Harness (Rotherham) and Ronan Curtis (Charlton).

And it was the defender who triumphed ahead of his Blackburn following an impressive Blues loan.

Carter told The News: ‘When the ball came out to me, I had time to take one touch and they (Rotherham) were slow coming out, so I thought I’d take another.

‘Then I heard shouts of “Shoot” from the crowd and thought why not! I’m not in that position very often, so I might as well, and just put my foot through it and hoped for the best.

Hayden Carter receives the 2021-22 Goal of the Season award in recognition of his strike against Oxford United in March. Picture: Robin Jones/Portsmouth FC

‘Usually I’d try to pick out a pass or cross it back in. Thankfully I listened to the crowd on that occasion – and I don’t think I’ll hit a ball like that again in my career.

‘Certainly it’s my first goal from outside the box, all the rest have been scrappy tap-ins or headers, so I think it will take some beating.

‘It was so satisfying after what had happened at Oxford the previous month. We owed them one because everything was against us on the day. To get revenge – and the win – that night at Fratton Park was brilliant.

‘I had hoped my goal would be shortlisted, especially after somehow missing out on March’s League One Goal of the Month nominations, which I wasn’t happy with.

‘So I was delighted to win it for Pompey – and thanks to everyone who voted on the night.’

Carter made 22 appearances scoring, of course, one goal during a profitable Pompey loan spell.

He added: ‘I’ve loved every minute of it at Pompey and it’s the best I have played in terms of being on the ball and stepping in.

‘At Burton on loan there was a lot more digging in, winning headers and tackles, whereas at Pompey I was able to show my abilities on the ball with beating players and my passing.

‘That’s the best first-team football I’ve played. Thankfully I did well and it can only help with my career in the long run.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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