Leon Maloney opens up on maiden Portsmouth goal and the quips his team-mates made afterwards
Leon Maloney toasted his maiden Pompey goal and revealed: It was surreal.
The Isle of Wight ace broke his Blues duck in last night’s 2-1 victory over Northampton in the EFL Trophy second round.
Maloney stooped down on 39 minutes to head home Marcus Harness’ cross and equalise.
It was a strike on the third-year scholar’s fifth appearance for the club he’s been at since the age of 10.
While it wasn’t the winger netted at Fratton Park, having been on target during his days in the youth team at PO4, the feeling scoring for Kenny Jackett’s side was incomparable.
And although it took a deflection on the way in, Maloney’s confident it will go down his despite quips from his team-mates.
He said: ‘It was a class feeling. It was surreal being at Fratton Park scoring my first goal.
‘It felt like an age to fall in but once it did then I heard the crowd and it was a great feeling.
‘I just kind of closed my eyes and hoped for the best when it was up in the air.
‘Obviously, I’ve scored at Fratton Park for the youth team before but it is a whole different feeling scoring for the first team.
‘It’s just surreal and a great feeling to hear the crowd. Being an academy boy, all you want to do is get into the first team and score goals.
‘I don’t know how it fell in. The boys were telling me it was an own goal!
‘In the dressing room, they were asking me if it’s my first pro goal and then said “It’s just a shame it was an OG” so they were trying to banter me a bit.
‘I’m sure it was on target. I haven’t looked at it back yet but it was definitely my goal.’
Maloney cancelled out Michael Harriman’s 11th-minute opener for Northampton before Harness’ sumptuous second-half volley moved Pompey into the third round of the competition.
And the 18-year-old reckons he should have got into the position that led to his effort more frequently.
‘I could have maybe been in that position three times before it,’ Maloney added.
‘Marcus put in great deliveries to the back post and the one time I was at the back post, I scored so I need to do that more.
‘Now I’ve just got to keep it up.’