Andy Awford’s tenure began in style today as Pompey picked up a 2-1 win at Newport County.
Two first-half goals from Ryan Taylor and Jed Wallace did the damage as the Blues picked up a win to ease their relegation fears against the nine-men Exiles.
The victory puts five points between Awford’s men and the bottom two as they picked up a deserved success.
Awford brought Johnny Ertl in from the cold with his first start for three months as he made three changes.
Pompey started the game on the front with Ricky Holmes at the heart of their attacking play.
But it was Taylor who was the architect of the first goal after 22 minutes, as he broke clear and was pulled down by Kevin Feely in the box.
It was a clear penalty, and the striker got up himself to confidently dispatch the spot-kick low to Ian McLoughlin’s right.
Newport were then reduced to 10 men after 26 minutes when Adam Chapman was dismissed for a horrible two-footed lunge on Danny Hollands.
Things got better for the Blues six minutes before the break when a lovely flowing move involving Holland and Holmes saw the ball headed home by Wallace.
There was a nervous moment before the interval when Crow went to ground in the box under Bondz N’Gala’s challenge.
Referee Steve Bratt blew his whistle, but, with the away fans fearing the worst, booked Crow for diving.
The second half saw early penalty shouts for Pompey not given as Taylor caused more havoc in the box.
Awford’s side were falling deeper and deeper, though, as Justin Edinburgh’s men looked for a way back into the game.
Newport got a goal back with 16 minutes left as sub Ismail Yakubu forced home a corner.
The Exiles were reduced to nine men with eight minutes left as Darcy Blake was given a second yellow for a foul on Patrick Agyemang.
It was still a nervy finale for Pompey though, but there were jubilant scenes on the final whistle as they held on for victory on a day to savour.