Fratton victory gives Pompey hope

Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

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Pompey turned up the heat on their relegation rivals with a convincing 2-0 win over Hull City as Chris Maguire and Joel Ward netted first-half strikes to secure three vital points.

The Blues bounced back from Saturday’s miserable 2-0 loss at Coventry with a fine display as Michael Appleton’s side showed they still have the stomach for the fight to stay in the Championship.

The on-loan Maguire opened the scoring just beyond the 20-minute mark with a sublime finish as he latched on to a long ball down the right channel and lofted a clever finish over the stranded Hull keeper Vito Mannone.

And just five minutes later, Ward was on hand to poke home from close range after George Thorne picked him out with a clever cut-back following a corner.

While Hull improved after the break, Pompey never looked in any real trouble as Jamie Ashdown was forced into only one real save of note in the first half.

But Pompey looked a threat going forward with Scott Allan, Thorne and Maguire particularly impressive, while 17-year-old left-back Karim Rekik made an assured debut.

While Pompey looked dead and buried on Saturday, suddenly they look like they have a chance of dragging themselves out of the relegation mire once again.