Pompey 4 Grimsby 0

Carl Baker netted Pompey's third goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Carl Baker netted Pompey's third goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dion Donohue. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey defender: My responsibility for error

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Pompey’s march towards promotion gathered extra momentum as they brushed aside Grimsby 4-0 at Fratton Park.

Paul Cook’s side picked up where they left off at Colchester at the weekend with another dominant performance that left the Mariners outclassed and Blues fans drooling in delight.

Goals from Kyle Bennett, Danny Rose, Carl Baker and Kal Naismith handed the hosts another convincing victory.

And it was a win that not only reaffirmed their credentials to go up but also suggested third place need not be the aim in the end of season mix-up.

To be fair, Grimsby found themselves unlucky not to be in front when Bennett opened the scoring on 12 minutes.

Akwasi Asante saw his effort blocked on four minutes after a slip by Matt Clarke before Zak Mills fired in a shot from 20 yards that struck David Forde’s left-hand post.

Forde then had to be alert to deny Asante with a fine diving save, following the Irish keeper’s own poor clearance.

From that moment on, though, Pompey were in full control.

Bennett seized the opportunity presented to him by Eoin Doyle to fire home, with the help of a deflection, from the edge of the box.

Naismith went close with a header that left visiting keeper James McKeown rooted to his spot on 25 minutes, while the Scot then tried his luck from long range as the Blues stepped up the pressure.

A second goal was coming – and it duly arrived on 35 minutes via Rose.

Just like Bennett’s effort, he drilled a shot goalwards from the edge of the area.

And once again there was little the unlucky McKeown could do about it as the ball took a slight but defining deflection.

The home side suffered a blow when Bennett limped off before half-time, to be replaced by Gary Roberts.

But the enforced change did not affect Pompey, who scored a third before the break.

Baker found room in the box following a one-two with Naismith and fired home from the angle to beat McKeown at his near post.

The Blues did not take long to add to Grimsby’s misery after the restart.

Baker’s shot from long range was parried out by the Mariners’ keeper and Naismith was on hand to capitalise on the error.

The former Rangers man was taken off midway through the second half through injury, with Jamal Lowe introduced to the action.

Pompey, though, continued to toy with the visitors, with Baker drawing a fine save out of McKeown, while Eoin Doyle saw a header drift wide.

The in-form Baker’s curling effort on 87 minutes narrowly missed the target as the Fratton faithful demanded a fifth goal.

Roberts also went close with a cross-cum-shot in injury-time but that was to be it in terms of goal drama as Cook’s side had to make do with four on a night to remember under the floodlights at Fratton Park.