Portsmouth 2-1 Cambridge Utd: Match Report
Portsmouth celebrate promotion as they edge Cambridge
Portsmouth were in party mood as they celebrated their promotion from League Two with a 2-1 win over Cambridge, which dented the visitors' own play-off hopes.
A first-half strike from Karl Baker and a superb free-kick from Kai Naismith eased Pompey to victory over a Cambridge side who turned in a lacklustre performance and only had Luke Berry's late free-kick as a consolation.
Pompey dominated the opening exchanges and played some neat football through midfield as they tried to pick their way through Cambridge's defence with Kyle Bennett looking particularly lively.
Their early attempts were limited to long-range efforts Baker and and Gareth Evans, who both picked their way in off the right flank, but their efforts provided no test for Cambridge goalkeeper Will Norris.
Left-back Enda Stevens surged forward to find space on the left to unlock Cambridge on 19 minutes, receiving a pass and working his way to the byline where he pulled an inviting low ball back into the path of Baker who swept the ball home his eighth league goal, left-footed from 10 yards.
For all their dominance, Pompey were caught napping on 35 minutes when Cambridge almost levelled out of the blue when Uche Ikpeazu seized on the ball after Pompey keeper David Forde spilled a cross and saw his shot blocked by defender Jack Whatmough.
Normal service was resumed and Pompey striker Nicke Kabamba missed a golden opportunity to double his side's lead, planting an unmarked header wide from four yards.
Bennett was again on Cambridge's case two minutes into the second half, firing in a right-foot shot from 22 yards which Norris was unable to hold but the Cambridge keeper pounced on the loose ball with Kai Naismith lurking.
Naismith was not to be denied, though and after Stanley Aborah - in his first start for Pompey - was fouled 22 yards out, Pompey's top scorer dipped a precise free-kick and past the stranded Norris for his 10th league goal of the season.
Cambridge had offered precious little going forward in the second half but their anonymity as an attacking forced was relieved on 80 minutes when Berry curled in a free-kick as impressive as Naismith's.
In injury time, Berry was presented with another opportunity 25 yards out but keeper Forde climbed to claw his free-kick away.