One Step Closer

Portsmouth tightened their grip on third place in League Two yesterday thanks to a deserved win 3-1 over Yeovil Town at Fratton Park.

The visitors reminded Pompey fans that they weren't just there to make up the numbers as Tom Eaves headed an early chance over the bar when he was unmarked in the box.

But things tend to go your way when you're the form team in the division and that was the case when Bevis Mugabi was penalised for a foul on Gary Roberts just inside the box. It seemed a harsh decision on first viewing but replays have confirmed it was the correct one.

Gareth Evans finally laid Pompey's penalty hoodoo to rest by calmly rolling the ball into the far corner of the net as the belief amongst those in the home stands at Fratton Park continued to rise.

Having had an effort cleared off the line before that, the home side continued to cause the Glovers plenty of problems but rarely troubled Artur Krysiak having eased up before the break, as Pompey fans revelled in the news that Stevenage were 4-0 down at Colchester.

Yeovil had barely threatened since their early chance but were gifted an equaliser as both Matt Clarke and Enda Stevens attempted to tackle Francois Zoko but Stevens' clearance ricocheted off Clarke and looped over the helpless David Forde.

The frustration amongst the home supporters grew as Stevens and Naismith both attempted to catch out Krysiak when in promising positions but botched their efforts and wasted their chances.

Thankfully, the lead was restored as an incisive pass from Kyle Bennett was received by Stevens in the box who squared it for Naismith. The Scot took a touch before shooting to beat Krysiakat his near post although in truth, the goalkeeper should have done better.

Krysiak will also have been disappointed with himself for the third goal as the tenacious Jamal Lowe bustled his way into the box before slotting the ball home from a narrow angle for his first Portsmouth goal having just been introduced from the bench.

Naismith might have had a second goal after a good attacking move but the ball got stuck under his feet with the goal at his mercy. He was named man of the match before being withdrawn for Nicke Kabamba who made his Pompey debut with just minutes to go.

Those minutes passed by without incident as the final whistle confirmed a sixth win in seven games for Pompey who are now eight points clear of Luton in fourth place.

Yeovil weren't particularly great yesterday but Pompey's dominance and character, despite the freak equaliser, summed up why they've been in such good form. Naismith wasn't very effective up front but was soon back to his best when he reverted to his usual midfield role, whilst Bennett continues to cause problems for League Two backlines.

Plymouth stole a win at Crawley yesterday to maintain their four point gap over Pompey going into Good Friday's clash. Blues fans stil believe their team can finish second and will want revenge on Argyle for last season's play-off heartbreak.

Victory over the Pilgrims and at Notts County the following Monday could make for a very special Easter for everyone connected with Portsmouth Football Club.

Pompey Player Ratings

David Forde: 6 - Had no chance with the goal and little else to do.

Gareth Evans: 8 - Got the ball rolling with early goal (literally) and was solid throughout.

Christian Burgess: 7 - Dealt with what little Yeovil had to offer comfortably.

Matt Clarke: 6 - Solid showing minus his part in the own goal.

Enda Stevens: 7 - OG aside, a typical decent display from the under-rated left back.

Michael Doyle: 6 - Passing was inconsistent.

Danny Rose: 7 - Proving to be a vital cog in the machine.

Carl Baker: 6 - Some good moments.

Gary Roberts: 6 - Won the penalty but offered little else.

Kyle Bennett: 7 - Always a threat.

Kal Naismith: 7 - Looked better once back in midfield.


Liam O'Brien

Drew Talbot

Jack Whatmough

Amine Linganzi

Jamal Lowe (Baker 76): 7 - Happy for him to finally get on the scoresheet.

Conor Chaplin (Roberts 67): 6 - Not as involved as he could have been.

Nicke Kabamba (Naismith 90): N/A - No better way to be introduced to the Fratton faithful.