Alex Robertson opened his account for Portsmouth as the League One club got their promotion push back on track with a 2-0 win at 10-man Burton Albion.
Robertson joined Portsmouth on loan from Premier League champions Manchester City at the start of the season and the Socceroos midfielder has earned rave reviews since arriving at Pompey.
Before Wednesday (AEDT), however, he had made 29 shots at goal this term – the second most of any player yet to score in England’s third tier. He had also never scored a senior goal having starred for City’s youth teams.
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Robertson snapped that drought with his first goal for Portsmouth in the 63rd minute.
The 20-year-old found the corner to finish Joe Rafferty’s cross just past the hour mark as he celebrated with fellow Socceroo Kusini Yengi, who came off the bench.
“It’s obviously nice to get my first professional goal and it’s a massive positive for us as a team to bounce back after the weekend,” Robertson said.
“I thought I’d missed because their guy was stood in my way, but I’ve been looking for that cut-back for weeks.
“Raffs found me in the box and I just tried to guide the ball into the side of the goal where the keeper wasn’t positioned.
“It was a really nice passage of play and so credit to him for finding me the way he did. Thankfully, I put it away.
“There was a sense of relief and the gaffer has given me the licence to get into the box, despite playing in that deeper role.
“Hopefully I can keep going now and score some more goals, but the main thing is that the team keeps getting results.
“I can’t do what I do on the pitch without the players and staff members around me – they provide me with massive confidence and belief.
“I think you’ve been able to see that when we do really get going, nobody can stop us. Now we need to see that from minute one to 90.”
“I thought Alex was the best player on Saturday – the shining light in a poor display – and it was the same again,” said head coach John Mousinho.
“The only criticism I’ve had of him this season is the final product, but he’s put it together and I think he can score more from us. I’m really pleased for him.”
Colby Bishop bagged his 11th of the season to set Mousinho’s side on their way to victory.
With both sides having conceded four goals on their way to defeats at the weekend, it was perhaps unsurprising this game had something of a cagey start.
The visitors saw plenty of the ball early on but struggled to create anything to test Max Crocombe in the Burton goal while Will Norris at the other end had to deal with shots from Kwadwo Baah and Mark Helm.
Bishop finally broke the stalemate in the 38th minute when he fired home Pompey’s first shot on target from the penalty spot after Steve Seddon had brought down Abu Kamara.
Pompey doubled their lead, slightly against the run of play, with Manchester City loanee Robertson finding the corner to finish Joe Rafferty’s cross on 63 minutes.
Albion played the six minutes of stoppage time with 10 men after Seddon, booked when conceding the penalty, picked up a second caution for another challenge on Kamara.