Pompey back in play-off spots after victory

Pompey celebrate Marc McNulty's opener Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey celebrate Marc McNulty's opener Picture: Joe Pepler

Paul Caddis, left

Pompey linked with right-back Caddis

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Pompey grafted to a 2-1 win over Cambridge United to ease the tension at Fratton Park.

Marc McNulty and Adam Webster grabbed a goal in each half to give Paul Cook’s side a deserved win.

A late header from Luke Berry made it a nervy finale through five minutes of stoppage-time in front of a crowd of 15,425.

But Pompey held on to get a much-needed three points which lifted them to fifth in the table.

It was imperative Pompey started quickly and the Blues were quick out of the blocks.

Jimmy Spencer and Conor Chaplin both had early range finders saved before Chaplin lashed the ball across the face of goal, after Kal Naismith went to ground in the box.

Christian Burgess was caught napping by Spencer after 19 minutes but Adam Webster saved the day – after James Spencer theatrically threw himself to the ground.

There was plenty of argie bargie taking place on and off the pitch as Burgess was being targeted by the visitors.

Then Leam Richardson and Shaun Derry had to be pulled apart by Paul Cook after a clash between Spencer and Hollands.

Ben Williamson threatened with a ball across the face of goal as the impetus began to ebb from Pompey’s play.

But just as that was happening McNulty broke the deadlock after 41 minutes. A quick free-kick from Michael Doyle found the Scotsman in space and he absolutely lashed the ball home via the underside of the crossbar.

Unsurprisingly, Spencer was withdrawn for Donaldson at the break with Bennett flashing a chance just wide moments after the restart.

Roberts then had to make an important last-ditch tackle to deny Chaplin, before Hollands’ shot was saved by Norris from Stevens’ cutback.

The all-important second goal came after 62 minutes to really lift the tension at Fratton.

Bennett was the architect as he cracked a lovely 25 yarder which Norris did superbly to push on to the bar - but Webster was there to sniff out the loose ball and prod home.

That made for what looked a comfortable finale for Cook’s side with spirits high at Fratton Park - and even club stalwart Barry Harris was lauded with a series of chants after retrieving a wayward ball.

That changed in the 90th minute, though, after Berry headed from a free-kick and five minutes of stoppage time were indicated.

Pompey held on, however, to delight the home crowd on the final whistle.

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