Nathan Thompson: I lost control of emotions after netting Portsmouth equaliser against Sunderland
Nathan Thompson revealed he lost control of his emotions when he ensured the Checkatrade Trophy final would enter extra-time.
The tough-tackling defender sent the Fratton faithful into ecstasy with his 82nd-minute equaliser against Sunderland.
With Pompey a goal down at Wembley, Thompson headed home Gareth Evans’ cross to cancel out Aidan McGeady’s 39th-minute free-kick.
His goal sparked a wild celebration from himself, his team-mates and the 40,300 Blues fans inside the national stadium.
Jamal Lowe thought he’d won the clash for Kenny Jackett’s side in the 114th minute before McGeady took the game to penalties at the death.
But it was Pompey who held their nerve, winning the shootout 5-4 to clinch the silverware.
Thompson’s goal was his first for the club since moving to Fratton Park in June 2017.
And the right-back savoured a moment he’ll remember for the rest of his career.
He said: ‘The feeling was incredible when I scored.
‘I was disappointed with myself for diving into the challenge for the goal they scored in the first half.
‘I felt he (McGeady) was going to shoot, so I’ve gone to block it and he’s just nicked it away – that’s what you’re dealing with in Aidan McGeady.
‘So there was that little bit of redemption when I scored to get us level and get us to extra-time.
‘When the crowd is like that and there’s the intensity and you’ve got all your family watching then you’re not in control for that first 10-15 seconds.
‘I was just waiting, wasn’t I, for the timing of it!
‘But it was incredible.’
Sunderland dominated the first half, with Pompey displaying steel and resolve to ensure they only went into the interval a goal behind.
But with the Blues kicking towards the Fratton faithful in the second period, Thompson knew the atmosphere they’d create would conjure up an equaliser.
He added: ‘Sunderland came out and were impressive.
‘But it is difficult to maintain that on a big pitch.
‘We just wanted to hang on until half-time and then we were going into our own fans in the second half – like going into the Fratton End.
‘We felt the atmosphere, the fans sucking it in and you could feel the goal coming.’