Pompey promoted at Notts County

Kyle Bennett in action at Meadow Lane today. Picture: Joe Pepler
Kyle Bennett in action at Meadow Lane today. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Close. Picture: Shaun Boggust

Beautiful game is great – but Pompey want to win

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It’s official – Pompey are promoted.

The Blues booked their place in League One today following a 3-1 win against Notts County at Meadow Lane.

Gareth Evans celebrates after opening the scoring. Picture: Joe Pepler

Gareth Evans celebrates after opening the scoring. Picture: Joe Pepler

Goals from Gareth Evans (14 minutes) and substitute Jamal Lowe (77 and 90) handed Paul Cook’s side victory.

And with fourth-placed Luton failing to win at Mansfield, Pompey’s efforts in Nottingham were enough to seal their promotion push with three games of the season remaining.

The large Blues following were obviously ecstatic at the final whistle, as their four-year wait to leave the Football League’s bottom division finally came to an end.

And there’s no doubt who the hero was, with Lowe’s introduction the catalyst for a fantastic win on the road.

Pompey could easily have went in front on four minutes when Kal Naismith put Gary Roberts through on goal.

However, the front man’s first touch was poor and the chance went beggging.

Within 10 minutes, though, the Blues were in front after Naismith was brought down in the box by former Pompey Richard Duffy.

Gareth Evans stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick, and he showed calmness under pressure to send keeper Adam Collin the wrong way.

County’s response was two half-chances from Jon Stead and Jorge Grant that Blues keeper David Forde stood up to.

And as the first-half teetered out, the only chance of note that fell the visitors’ was a Kyle Bennett that went wide of the target on 37 minutes.

The second half began with a bang, with Grant equalising for the visitors with a brilliant volley on 51 minutes.

That only ignited the drive in Pompey, though.

And after Carl Baker, Kal Naismith and Bennett were all denied by the impressive Collin, up stepped substitute Jamal Lowe to hand the Blues the lead.

Only on eight minutes for Baker, he composed himself in the box to curl an effort into the bottom corner to send the 4,366 in the away end delirious.

A Lowe intervention at the other end denied the home side a late equaliser that could possibly have prolonged Pompey’s wait to go up.

However, the substitute then produced another piece of magic at the top of the pitch on 90 minutes as he lobbed Collin from inside the area to rubberstamp Pompey’s promotion with three games to spare and light the touchpaper party for the Fraton faithful.