Caolan Lavery takes Pompey honour

Caolan Lavery enjoyed an excellent December. Picture: Joe Pepler
Caolan Lavery enjoyed an excellent December. Picture: Joe Pepler

Caolan Lavery has been chosen as Pompey’s Player of the Month for December.

Readers of The News were asked to pick from a six-strong shortlist of the Blues’ most outstanding performers last month.

And it was Lavery who collected the most votes, beating strong competition from Gareth Evans.

The on-loan striker netted only once during the period, that goal arriving in the 4-0 rout of Hartlepool at Fratton Park.

However, his energetic displays, bright movement and willingness to give all for the cause have established him as a popular player among the Fratton faithful.

That was reflected by receiving 31.7 per cent of the vote from our readers.

Now fans will be hoping Lavery’s loan spell from Sheffield Wednesday will be extended when it expires next week.

Fellow forward Marc McNulty’s loan was yesterday increased until the season’s end, while confirmation of Matt Clarke extending his stay is imminent.

In turn, Lavery’s initial spell will end next week, although it remains to be seen whether he can feature in this weekend’s FA Cup match at Ipswich.

So far parent club Sheffield Wednesday have indicated they do not want him cup-tied, ruling him out of previous rounds against Macclesfield and Accrington.

Regardless, the 23-year-old has shone at Fratton Park with four goals in 13 matches since arriving in October.

The recruitment of Lavery and McNulty has added a greater cutting edge to Cook’s squad in their push for an automatic promotion place.

Runner-up in the fans’ vote for December was Evans, with three goals during the month.

The midfielder was also initially credited with the first goal at Leyton Orient, since given as an own goal by Connor Essam.

Evans has been in outstanding form during the past few months.

His work-rate down the right is a strong feature of Pompey’s play.

Only Conor Chaplin has scored more than the former Fleetwood man, who netted against Hartlepool, Northampton and Orient last month.

He collected 20.5 per cent of the vote, to leave Lavery as the convincing winner.

In third spot was McNulty, who began the new year with a goal in the 3-0 success over Crawley.

Like Lavery, his only goal in December came against Hartlepool. However, the 23-year-old has chalked up three assists ahead of his stay being extended.

Elsewhere in the voting, November’s winner Ben Davies finished level with Enda Stevens on 11.9 per cent.

The full-backs have been outstanding on their respective flanks with three clean sheets and each grabbing an assist last month.

Finally, Michael Doyle received 8.6 per cent as the Pompey skipper maintains his excellent maiden season at Fratton.