Portsmouth goal hero Walkes dedicates stunning strike to family

Anton Walkes roared back into Pompey's first-team '“ and dedicated his stunning strike to his family.

Sunday, 30th December 2018, 12:07 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:13 am
Anton Walkes celebrates his stunning strike against Fleetwood. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The versatile performer has suffered a troubled time in recent months, with a conviction for driving while disqualified and without insurance.

On Saturday against Fleetwood, the former Spurs man was handed a first start in nine league matches, standing in for injured right-back Nathan Thompson.

Walkes responded with a magnificent first-time left-footed strike to restore the Blues' lead.

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Anton Walkes celebrates his stunning strike against Fleetwood. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

Kenny Jackett's men ran out 5-2 winners following an action-packed second half, ensuring they head into 2019 top of League One.

And a delighted Walkes was beaming at his goal-scoring contribution.

He said: '˜It felt good being back in the team playing again and it was my opportunity, you just have to take it.

'˜I had been thinking about scoring once I got playing again, that would be a good statement, just to give something back.

'˜I'm very happy I could give back to the people still supporting me and pushing me on, hopefully I put a smile on their face.

'˜My family weren't there but we spoke about it in the morning, I know it might have been a bit of a joke about scoring a goal, but it happens.

'˜I am sure they are happy and were sitting at home smiling as well.

'˜It's a long season and we've got a good squad, you've all got to fill in for each other and be patient and keep pushing each other on.

'˜As you can see, we are getting to the time of the year with injuries, so everybody has to be ready because we have a goal we want to reach.'

Walkes' second goal in Pompey colours arrived after Ronan Curtis slung in a cross from the left.

Ross Wallace couldn't manage a successful clearing header, while the ball ricocheted off Wes Burns.

That allowed the right-back to pounce with a curling shot from inside the box.

It completed a dramatic turnaround, with two goals in as many minutes lifting the Blues into a 3-2 lead.

A Jamal Lowe double sealed the 5-2 triumph against the Cod Army, who earlier in the half had Dean Marney dismissed.

And Walkes reflected on his vital strike.

He added: '˜I just stood in a position where I thought the defender might head the ball.

'˜I saw him a few times in the game just flick it on, so thought if I stood there it could fall to me, so I anticipated it.

'˜Luckily enough, the ball dropped nicely and it was a half-volley with my left peg.

'˜I haven't scored many with that foot, but have it in my locker in training, I do get it in a few times, but it's good to prove it in a game.

'˜To be able to celebrate in front of the fans was even better, especially when it gave us the lead.'