Connolly eyeing more success after claiming goal-scoring feat

David Connolly scores from the penalty spot against Accrington Picture: Ste Jones
David Connolly scores from the penalty spot against Accrington Picture: Ste Jones

It began against Port Vale on April 13, 1996, in the surrounds of the old division one.

David Connolly completed the full house with a Pompey double at the Crown Ground on Saturday.

Those strikes in the 2-2 draw against Accrington ensured the striker joined a select band to have scored in all four divisions of the Football League.

It’s a group which includes the likes of Steve Claridge, Brett Ormerod, Matt Jansen, Robbie Earnshaw, Steve Finnan and Alan Cork to name but a few.

In terms of Connolly, it illustrates the prolific career of a striker who has netted 122 Football League goals in 347 appearances to date.

His time in the game has been ravaged by injuries in parts, while four years were spent on the books of Feyenoord.

Nonetheless, at the age of 36, he has accomplished the feat of grabbing goals at every level in the Football League.

And the former Republic of Ireland international retains the confidence there will be many more as he continues to shine at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘I have scored in every division now. Is that a good thing?

‘I have not really thought about that to be honest.

‘It was just pointed out to me after that Accrington game.

‘If I get a chance I feel I will take it and I did that on Saturday.

‘It was great to get my first goal of the seeason in the second game.

‘I have gone much longer without scoring, although don’t place too much importance on scoring quickly.

‘It’s more about if I am playing well and whether I still have the ability to do well – and I feel I do.

‘As long as I keep hanging in there and the team is creating chances, I fancy myself to take them. Definitely.’

Connolly started his career at Watford in division one and got off the scoring mark in style, grabbing a hat-trick in a 5-2 demolition of the Valiants in April 1996.

It was only his second league start for the Hornets and his eighth league appearance in total.

Having been relegated at the end of that campaign in 23rd spot, Connolly remained part of Watford’s squad in division two and scored on the opening day.

That was at Bournemouth on August 17, 1996, in a 2-1 victory.

At the end of that season he was sold to Feyenoord and played in the Eredivisie.

It wouldn’t be until August 2005 when he would have his first shot at the Premier League, with a move to Wigan.

He would net on his debut in a 2-1 win at West Brom on September 10, 2005.

That would be his sole top-flight goal, despite also featuring for Sunderland there.

Then came Accrington – and after 17 years and four months Connolly had his admirable record.