Ryan Taylor has revealed his relief at ending his long barren run with a vital equaliser for Pompey.
The Blues forward netted his first league strike since August as he poked home from close range to secure a point in a battling team display at Luton.
And while he admitted his 12-match run since his goal in the the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy defeat to Northampton had been playing on his mind, he made light of his drought with his goal celebration, pretending to faint in surprise before he was mobbed by his delighted team-mates.
Taylor said: ‘I’ve had a run like this before.
‘But it’s just nice to end it. It’s a big relief, to be honest.
‘I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about it.
‘You try not to think about it too much but it’s always in the back of your mind and you wonder when the next goal is coming from.
‘You just have to keep working hard and hope it changes for you.
‘But I didn’t switch my boots or anything like that. They are the same scruffy pair and probably need a change actually!
‘So maybe it was the pork sandwiches I had?
‘Who knows? I’m just pleased to be back on the scoresheet again.
‘I was messing about pretending to faint because I scored.
‘Sometimes you’ve got to laugh about it but now I’m determined to get a run going.’
While plenty of strikers have seen the goals dry up at certain points in their career, Taylor’s goal was just his third of the season.
But instead of getting too downbeat lately, he simply knuckled down on the training pitch and stuck to the work eithic that has served him well.
He said: ‘I think you just have to keep doing what you know works and stick to it as much as you can.
‘I’m a striker so I know I will get judged on goals.
‘I worked on my finishing in training every day so I was ready to do the business when the ball dropped to me.
‘In football, there are lots of ups and downs and I try to keep it level.
‘But I didn’t doubt myself.
‘When you start doing that, you over-think it.
‘When it has happened before, I just concentrated on my work on the training pitch and then things eventually turn for you.
‘Hopefully, that’s the case now.’
While it was not a goal that will feature in any goal of the month competition, it was an important strike for Taylor and the team, who responded well to their poor display on Boxing Day.
Taylor said: ‘The cross came in, the defender tried to clear it and he kind of scuffed it so I just got a toe to it.
‘My first thought was that I was offside but I looked over at the linesman and he kept his flag down, so it was great.
‘We knew it was going to be a tough game at Luton and when we were 1-0 down, it made it even tougher. But we managed to peg it back to 1-1.
‘All the boys worked extremely hard and it was a good point in the end.
‘A few heads could have dropped after what happened on Boxing Day.
‘But I don’t think we saw that at all. It was a good response.’