Goal hero revels in lifetime best

Ryan Bird savoured his first Pompey goal and admitted: It’s the best moment of my life.

Super-sub Bird left the bench to rescue a 1-1 draw at Torquay on Saturday and extend the Blues’ unbeaten run to five games.

It continues the meteoric rise from non-league football for the 25-year-old, after he arrived from Burnham in the summer.

And now he is aiming to use the moment as a catalyst for his Pompey career to catch fire.

Bird was in dreamland after his 81st-minute finish from Jed Wallace’s cross ensured Guy Whittingham’s side maintained the impetus their season is building.

But the striker revealed he wasn’t even sure his finish had found its way into the net, as he delivered the crucial touch at the back post.

It was a special occasion, however, for the man who was playing as a central defender in the Southern League division one central a couple of years ago.

Bird said: ‘It’s a moment I’m always going to remember. It was the best feeling of my life. It trickled in – but I don’t mind that!

‘I was stretching and I didn’t even see it go in. The keeper could’ve saved it for all I knew!

‘The crowd started going mental so I just assumed it was in and jumped in.

‘I was going to jump in the crowd but knew I’d get booked – and then they pulled me in anyway!

‘The floodgates are opening now. If I can get game time I want to get into double figures this season.

‘All I can do now is keep putting the work in, knuckle down and try to impress the gaffer.

‘As every week goes by, I feel more and more like a Football League player.

‘It kicks in now and I’m intending to follow them up with a few more goals.’

Bird’s stock is rising again after returning from a loan spell at the Hawks, which didn’t go to plan.

That hasn’t stopped him getting minutes at Pompey, however, paving the way for his finish on Saturday.

The forward stated he has been his harshest critic this season as he waited to get on the scoresheet.

But now he is looking to revel in his goal and use the momentum it has created.

Bird said: ‘I got injured at the Hawks and couldn’t play in three cup games.

‘I’ve been hard on myself because, as a striker, you want to score every chance you get. I always look back over my chances and think about what I could have done better.

‘I hope someone’s got the goal on video for me.

‘I’ll be watching it back, because it’s finally arrived. I can’t believe it.

‘Maybe I’ve been hard on myself, but now it’s there I’m hoping the floodgates will open.

‘I’ll be getting the DVD and watching it back a few times. It’s one for the collection: My first league goal.’

n Pompey have been drawn away to Stevenage in the first round of the FA Cup, with the game to be played the weekend of November 8-9.