Portsmouth Wembley hero scourge of Sunderland once again after becoming Bradford match winner

He was scourge of Sunderland when inspiring Pompey to Checkatrade Trophy triumph.

Wednesday, 10th November 2021, 10:50 am
Ex-Pompey favourite Gareth Evans was at it again on Tuesday night - helping defeat Sunderland in the EFL Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ex-Pompey favourite Gareth Evans was at it again on Tuesday night - helping defeat Sunderland in the EFL Trophy. Picture: Joe Pepler

Now Gareth Evans has repeated his Black Cats demolition act in the competition – and once more from the penalty spot.

The 33-year-old netted Bradford’s shoot-out winner over Sunderland on Tuesday evening.

After the match had ended 1-1, spot kicks were used to decide the destiny of an additional point in the Papa John's Trophy group encounter.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Stepping up as the fifth penalty taker, Evans produced a thumping finish into the top corner to settle the game 4-2 in the League Two side’s favour.

Although, it wasn’t enough to prevent Sunderland qualifying for the knock-out stages having topped their group – or stop Bradford being eliminated.

Evans, of course, was Pompey’s Wembley man of the match in the Checkatrade Trophy final in March 2019.

Introduced early in the second half for Ronan Curtis with the lacklustre Blues trailing 1-0, Kenny Jackett’s side were in desperate need of a catalyst.

The attacking midfielder stepped up to the challenge magnificently, supplying the cross for Nathan Thompson’s 82nd minute leveller to take the match into extra-time.

With the fixture subsequently all-square at 2-2, it headed for penalties in front of a Wembley record crowd of 85,021 for the competition.

Evans took – and converted – the opening Pompey penalty as they ran out 5-4 winners to claim the silverware.

Craig MacGillivray’s stop from Lee Cattermole was pivotal, while Oli Hawkins provided the decisive spot kick.

The popular Evans left Fratton Park for Valley Parade in September 2020, yet has found matches hard to come by this season.

Sunderland represented his first start in eight fixtures, while he has featured just 12 times this term.

Of those, only five have been League Two starts for a side presently 12th in the table under Derek Adams.

In total, Evans has netted twice in 40 games during his second spell with Bradford and is out of contract at the season’s end.

Of course, the former Fleetwood man served with great distinction at Fratton Park, totalling 218 appearances and 38 goals.

He was a key member of Paul Cook’s League Two title-winning side, while also collected the Checkatrade Trophy.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 14p a day.