N’Gala winner shakes off Bury

John Marquis goes for a loose ball during today's game Picture; Joe Pepler

John Marquis goes for a loose ball during today's game Picture; Joe Pepler

The Pompey players celebrate winning the League Two title on the final day of the 2016-17 season following their 6-1 win against Cheltenham Picture: Joe Pepler

Gallen: Let’s carry momentum of Pompey title win into opener

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Bondz N’Gala was the hero again as Pompey gritted out a 1-0 win over Bury today.

N’Gala headed home in the fourth minute to secure three points at Fratton Park in front of a crowd of 15,434.

It wasn’t pretty from Guy Whittingham’s but the win makes it three victories and a draw since the York debacle.

N’Gala’s decisive goal followed on from his two headers in the 3-0 triumph over Rochdale.

There were some nervy moments late on but the recalled Phil Smith made some smart saves and showed a clean pair of hands to secure the clean sheet.

The game started at a furious pace, with Shaun Harrad heading at Smith when well placed inside the first minute.

John Marquis then headed off the bar with the ball then appearing to cross the line, but was flagged for offside.

That mattered little when the Blues made the breakthrough in the fourth minute from that man N’Gala.

It was Ricky Holmes who delivered the corner for N’Gala to again rise high and head past Brian Jensen.

That opener ensured Pompey had their tails up and the home side were in dominant form.

Danny Hylton had a penalty appeal turned down in the 24th minute, but referee Carl Berry correctly felt N’Gala won the ball as the two came together.

N’Gala was again at the centre of proceedings in the 29th minute with a crunching tackle on Hylton.

Bury caretaker-boss Ronnie Jepson was furious as the Bury players surrounded the ref, but the card colour was yellow and not red.

Tom Soares had a great chance for the visitors 11 minutes before the break, but blazed over from 12 yards.

Pompey’s early dominance was disappearing as the half wore on, with the match descending into a scrappy affair.

The second half started in the same manner, but Smith then did superbly to keep out Harrad’s diving header from point-blank range after 55 minutes.

Hylton then found space on the edge of the box after 61 minutes, but Smith held his fierce drive.

But it was increasingly dreary stuff, with neither side able to get a grip of proceedings.

Ryan Bird was sent on in place of Marquis, who’d picked up a yellow card, as Pompey chased the killer second goal.

Bury then had a good chance on the break with six minutes left – but sub Anton Forrester dragged his shot wide.

Jed Wallace then clipped the post when freed by Ricky Holmes.

The narrow advantage made it a nervy finale at Fratton Park.

But Pompey held on to get the win and three points which leave them 15th in the table on 16 points.

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