Portsmouth goal hero Walkes dedicates stunning strike to family
Anton Walkes roared back into Pompey's first-team '“Â and dedicated his stunning strike to his family.
The versatile performer has suffered a troubled time in recent months,Â 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.
Kenny Jackett's men ran out 5-2 winnersÂ following an action-packed second half, ensuringÂ 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 hadÂ 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 thereÂ 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 wereÂ sitting at home smiling as well.
'˜It's a long season and we've got aÂ 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 theÂ 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 pounceÂ 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, soÂ thought if I stood there it could fall to me, so I anticipated it.
'˜Luckily enough,Â the ballÂ dropped nicely and it was a half-volley with my left peg.
'˜I haven't scored many with that foot, but haveÂ 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 fansÂ was even better, especially when it gaveÂ us the lead.'