Scored in five and still alive at Portsmouth as Gareth Evans hits landmark

Gareth Evans celebrates his goal against Coventry. Photo by Robin Jones.
Gareth Evans celebrates his goal against Coventry. Photo by Robin Jones.
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He arrived under the radar as a triallist playing under a pseudonym.

Few who witnessed ‘Wayne Evans’ charging up and down the wing at Westleigh Park in the summer of 2015 would ever have anticipated he’d still be around five seasons on.

And that goes for the man himself, too, as the winger who was later unmasked as Gareth Evans after his friendly outing at Hawks went on to establish himself as a firm Fratton favourite.

READ MORE: Pompey boss Kenny Jackett set to face fight to retain support of Fratton faithful

But here he is 190 appearances and 33 goals later - and most definitely a blue.

The latest of those finishes arrived on Tuesday night as a typical piece of graft and never-say-die spirit was rewarded as Evans nicked the ball from Kyle McFadzean, before emphatically dispatching a finish in front of the Fratton End.

Gareth Evans celebrates his goal against Coventry. Picture: Barry Zee

Gareth Evans celebrates his goal against Coventry. Picture: Barry Zee

The goal put Pompey 3-1 up and looked for all the world the moment which would seal three points against the Sky Blues. That was before the late collapse arrived, of course, to Mark Robins’ nine men.

But amid the searing disappointment at the outcome, the achievement of Evans completing a rare Pompey feat had been completely lost.

In fact the player himself needed prompting, before it dawned on him he’d now scored in each of the five seasons he’d been wearing a star and crescent on his chest.

In that moment and with defeat still raw, it felt like it counted for little.

Gareth Evans netted Pompey's third goal against Coventry - ensuring he has now scored in five-successive Blues seasons. Picture: Robin Jones

Gareth Evans netted Pompey's third goal against Coventry - ensuring he has now scored in five-successive Blues seasons. Picture: Robin Jones

But Evans could still afford himself a moment’s satisfaction and reflection on reaching the landmark

And after signing a deal in March which ties him to Pompey until the summer of 2021, the 31-year-old holds ambition of extending that scoring run for at least another season yet.

Evans said: ‘I’ve never dreamt I would be here for five seasons and would score in five consecutive seasons for Portsmouth.

‘I don’t feel like I’m going to leave anytime soon, either, and hopefully I don’t.

‘I’ve never wanted to leave. I’ve never wanted to be anywhere else. 

‘It’s been about staying on the ride and getting Portsmouth back up to where we belong.’

His landmark was certainly an occasion worthy of a better setting than the one afforded Evans’ goal on Tuesday night.

And in typical fashion, the skipper was honest enough to admit he was unable to take much satisfaction from a personal achievement when so many others were disappointed.

Evans admitted, however, he could reflect on how the stat does underline how his time at Fratton has been a runaway success.

He added: ‘It’s always nice to score for Portsmouth.

‘It didn’t feel particularly satisfying, though, because when you score you want it to contribute towards a win.

‘But it shows it's definitely worked out well for me here.’