Pompey close gap with crucial Stanley win

Matt Clarke heads Pompey in front after just 75 seconds as the Blues beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler
Matt Clarke heads Pompey in front after just 75 seconds as the Blues beat Accrington Stanley 2-0 at Fratton Park Picture: Joe Pepler
New Pompey keeper Luke McGee Picture: Joe Pepler

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Goals at either end of the game got Pompey’s season moving in the right direction today.

Matt Clarke’s header after 75 seconds and Kal Naismith’s stoppage-time finish earned a 2-0 win over Accrington Stanley.

It looked like a comfortable afternoon was in store for Paul Cook’s side after the early opener.

But Fratton Park became increasingly nervy before Naismith’s late slotted finish got the job done.

It was a ferocious start from Pompey which reaped dividends when Clarke headed home from Roberts cross after a corner.

That came after Roberts forced Marek Rodak into a fine save after just 45 seconds.

Bennett let fly from 30 yards as the half continued, before Sean McConville had his side’s first chance after 30 minutes - curling over the top.

After the Blues’ early dominance the visitors came back into the game as the half wore on but Cook’s side were in front at the break.

The second half proved low on inspiration and a Stanley side who looked ripe for the picking increasingly threatened.

There were some important blocks from Clarke and Gareth Evans as the game wore on.

Then Clarke had a late headed chance kept out by Rodak’s feet.

Naismith finally put the game to bed in stoppage time, streaking clear from Noel Hunt’s pass and confidently finishing.

That leaves Pompey in sixth place - four points off third-placed Carlisle with a game in hand.