Pompey Claim Crown Ground Spoils

Last updated : 08 March 2016 By Jim Bonner

Pompey revived their chances of automatic promotion after comfortably beating Accrington Stanley on their own turf tonight.

The damage was done in the first half as Kyle Bennett opened the scoring with a shot from outside the box in the 22nd minute and an own goal from Matty Pearson came on 36 minutes when he turned in Ben Davies' cross.

Michael Doyle then scored his first Pompey goal with a stunning dipping volley from at least 25 yards a couple of minutes before the break having struck the crossbar earlier in a game that Paul Cook's men dominated.

The visitors continued to create chances in the second half but the only noteworthy incidents came when Stanley manager John Coleman broke the gentleman's agreement between the two clubs by bringing on Rommy Boco, although there was no danger of him scoring a hat-trick, and when Shay McCartan scored what ended up being a consolation goal in the 81st minute.

Ryan Fulton would have been annoyed to concede late on again but his team mates looked like grabbing a fourth before the final whistle which confirmed that Pompey leapfrogged their opponents into fourth place in League Two.

The result has really shaken up the promotion race now. Whilst Northampton aren't going to be caught, Oxford and Plymouth are now just six points in front of Portsmouth with the latter yet to visit Fratton Park.

Accrington are still well in the hunt as they could stil overtake Pompey if they win their game in hand, but they take on Plymouth this weekend so one of them will drop points. Bristol Rovers are also on the same points total as Pompey after their 3-1 win over Wimbledon tonight and must be considered a threat.

10 points from 12 since that horrow show at Barnet is a great return and Pompey can now be considered to be "in-form" but they absolutely must build on it and beat Newport on Saturday.

Sod's law says it will be a goalless draw and all the hard work in successfully navigating three tricky away games will have been undone.