Pompey cruise to fine victory

Ricky Holmes battles for the ball. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ricky Holmes battles for the ball. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey’s encouraging start the season continued with a 2-0 success over Northampton tonight.

First-half goals from Jed Wallace and Craig Westcar made the difference against the Cobblers.

It could have been more after the break for a Pompey side who looked totally comfortable in front of a crowd of 15,004.

That made it seven points from three league games and a run of 11 matches unbeaten for Andy Awford since he came into the job in March.

Awford went with wing-backs and four changes from the side which beat Cambridge on Saturday.

The first half started in fairly pedestrian manner with little in the way of clear chances.

Ricky Ravenhill had a great opportunity to open the scoring after 22 minutes, but put his free header wide.

That proved costly as Pompey made the breakthrough with a fine opener four minutes later.

An excellent Ben Chorley pass freed Nicky Shorey, after he slid in on Dan Alfei on the touchline.

Shorey then picked out Wallace, who showed composure to wait for his moment before burying a low drive.

That got Fratton Park rocking and the second goal the home side had been threatening arrived six minutes before the break.

Nigel Atangana was the architect as he opened up the Cobblers and freed Westcarr, who expertly picked his spot and tucked the ball away.

Ricky Ravenhill put a header wide 10 minutes after the restart as the Cobblers looked to get back in it.

But Pompey were looking comfortable with Fratton Park a happy place to be.

And the Blues were inches away from a third when Wallace broke into the box, but no one was there to tap home his cutback from a yard.

Miles Storey’s introduction saw him surge forward instantly and free Atangana - whose 20 yarder cracked the post.

There was time at the end for Storey to head just wide from a clever Atagana flick.

But Pompey were comfortable at the other end as they held on to the three points.