Statement Of Intent

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 22 November 2016

Portsmouth claimed their biggest result of the season so far after convincingly beating Luton 3-1 at Kenilworth Road tonight.

The match didn't get off to the best of starts as Danny Hylton headed the Hatters into the lead but the visitors hit straight back as Michael Smith struck in an equaliser against the post from twenty yards out.

An open half ended with Paul Cook's men taking the lead as a corner wasn't dealt with by the Luton defence and Gareth Evans was on hand to hook the ball in right on the stroke of half-time.

The Blues wasted a couple of excellent opportunities to seal the win in the second half as Christian Burgess headed the ball against the bar whilst Evans planted the ball wide with a free header.

Pompey fans may have been worried that their team would pay for those missed chances against one of the best teams in the division. Instead, substitute Kal Naismith sealed the victory after weaving into the box and slamming the ball into the far corner.

The result could be a huge one in the context of the season and whilst the first half sounded like an even affair, Pompey outplayed their promotion rivals in the second half and fully deserved the win.

Tonight's victory was made sweeter by Plymouth looking like they might repeat their bottle job of last season by losing their second home game in succession (2-0 to Barnet) whilst Grimsby and Carlisle held each other to a draw. Doncaster didn't play with their fixture against Stevenage moved to December 3rd so, for now at least, Pompey are just two points from the automatic promotion places.

It should be noted that as much as some fans have moaned about Pompey "going backwards" this season, this current campaign's total of 31 points from 18 games is two better than at the same stage of last season.

One final note of caution. It wasn't that long ago last season when Pompey's win at Accrington Stanley was hailed as a turning point going into the final stretch of the season, only for lowly Newport to turn up at Fratton Park and win 3-0 in the following game.

Therefore it's imperative that the players maintain their focus when struggling Stevenage come to Fratton Park on Saturday. Even if that game is won, there's still a long way to go this season.

Portsmouth Match Reports


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