Pompey have continued their recent good run of form in League One thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win against Crewe Alexandra.
The home side took the lead after just two minutes as Wes Thomas headed in Jon Harley's corner at the far post.
Thomas was then brought down in the box and referee David Phillips awarded Pompey a rather soft penalty. After some bickering between Izale McLeod and Akos Buzsaky, the former placed the ball on the spot and rifled the ball past Alan Martin to score his fourth goal in consecutive games.
Martin was forced into making a couple more saves with Thomas' stinging shot being palmed away into the path of Brian Howard, but the captain couldn't force the rebound in.
McLeod also had a decent effort on goal late on but Appleton's men were in cruise control going into the break.
The second half was a far more frustrating affair as Pompey retreated into their shell, just like in Milton Keynes last week, and were a little fortunate not to pay the price this time round.
Matt Tootle's tame effort at the start of the half summed up how poor Crewe were as some basic defending meant that the visitors didn't muster much in front of goal, despite a couple of hopeful penalty shouts.
There were still a couple of goalmouth scrambles, though, and a more predatory team would have found the back of the net.
Instead, Pompey should have put the icing on the cake as substitute Jack Compton fired straight at Martin late on whilst Luke Rodgers almost scored on his return to the side.
All in all, the hard work was done in the first twenty minutes but once again the team failed to perform in the second half just like in many other games this season. We should be thankful that Crewe were the worst team to visit Fratton Park by some distance yesterday.
On a final note, referee Phillips did not endear himself to the audience yesterday. Pompey players received six bookings, only one of which was just.
To give Rodgers a yellow card for taking a shot when the flag had gone up for offside was ridiculous. I can't remember the last time the crowd booed off the referee after Pompey won, but that speaks volumes.
Still, this result means that Pompey have taken 10 points from the last 12 available and with struggling Shrewsbury next to visit Fratton Park, many would fancy another three points there.
And with the news that Portpin's bid for the club has been rebuffed by the Football League, that light at the end of an extremely long and dark tunnel in Portsmouth is now shining a little brighter.
Pompey Player Ratings
Mikkel Andersen: 6 - Little to do.
Lee Williamson: 7 - Seemed a strange choice to play at right back, but it worked.
Gabor Gyepes: 6 - No goal this time.
Lubor Michalik: 6 - Dealt with most of what Crewe had to offer.
Adam Webster: 5 - Gave the ball away too much in the second half.
Jon Harley: 7 - Playing wide right gave him license to move forward and deliver some good crosses.
Johnny Ertl: 6 - Worked hard.
Brian Howard: 6 - Has had better games.
Akos Buzsaky: 6 - Solid but not outstanding.
Wes Thomas: 8 - A menace in the first half.
Izale McLeod: 7 - Is coming good now.
Jack Compton (Buzsaky 76): N/A - Should have opened his Pompey account.
Luke Rodgers (McLeod 87): N/A - Good to see him back.