Greg Rutherford is Mr Cool for Hartlepool United at Portsmouth

POOLIE PRIDE: Hartlepool United celebrate Greg Rutherford's  goal at Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
POOLIE PRIDE: Hartlepool United celebrate Greg Rutherford's goal at Portsmouth. Picture by FRANK REID
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GREG Rutherford was the coolest man inside Fratton Park when he slotted home the game-clincher at Portsmouth.

But that outward nonchalance belied his inner emotion.

At 18, and having just scored his first-ever goal, Rutherford admits he was anything but calm.

“It was just extraordinary that feeling when it hits the back of the net,” he told SportMail.

“I thought ‘has that actually happened?’.

“The fans were jumping up and down and I ran straight for them, all the lads were on top of me before I knew it.

“It was just incredible – my head was buzzing.”

It was in the 93rd minute, barely little more than 60 seconds after his introduction, that Rutherford was sprung clear by Jonathan Franks with the score at 2-1 to the visitors.

His first touch, he admits, was scruffy, but there was nothing untidy about the finish.

“Franksy played it through, a great little ball,” he reflected.

“It got stuck under my feet at first but I managed to get it out.

“The keeper came off his line and I saw the near post was open.

“I thought I might as well go for it.

“It all came off for me and it got us the win, I couldn’t wish for anything more.”

Rutherford, though, says there were nerves before entering the action, especially given the delicacy of his side’s slender lead.

“There is a bit of pressure when you come on late on and if you give the ball away it might lead to something,” said the Whitley Bay-born teenager.

“You just have to work as hard as you can for the team, put a shift in and help the other lads.

“You might get the odd breakthrough and thankfully we did and it was me on the end of it.”