Four-midable Pompey too strong for Chairboys
In-form Pompey climbed to second spot in the League Two table after coming from behind to beat Wycombe 4-2 at Fratton Park, claiming a fourth straight League Two win in the process.
Christian Burgess, Gary Roberts (penalty), Conor Chaplin and Carl Baker were all on target for Paul Cook’s side on a day to savour, with Paul Hayes at the double for the visitors.
The game, though, will be remembered for substitute Chaplin’s moment of genius as he gave Pompey a 3-2 lead in first-half injury-time with a stunning improvised solo goal in front of the Fratton End.
Pompey fell behind inside 10 minutes of what proved to be an exhilarating first half.
After surviving an early goalmouth scramble, the Blues’ defence was opened up on the counter attack as Wycombe skipper Hayes slotted home from team-mate Garry Thompson’s low cross.
The hosts were then lucky not to fall 2-0 behind when Sam Wood’s first-time effort cannoned back off the crossbar.
Pompey then laid siege to the Chairboys’ goal in the search for an equaliser with visiting goalkeeper Jamal Blackman making a series of good saves to deny both Curtis Main and Milan Lalkovic, before the former had to leave the field of play with a head injury.
He was replaced by fans’ favourite Chaplin who would have his say in memorable fashion later on.
Burgess, though, was the man who pegged Pompey back on level terms in the 34th minute when he prodded home from Carl Baker’s looping effort at the far post.
And no sooner had the Blues found a leveller were they ahead courtesy of yet another Roberts goal.
This time round it was from the penalty spot with Sido Jombati penalised for blocking Gareth Evans header with his arm - receiving a yellow card in the process.
Roberts duly stepped up to dispatch an emphatic penalty into the roof of the net.
But Pomnpey’s lead lasted for a matter of minutes as Wycombe and Hayes grabbed their second of the afternoon.
Slack defending allowed the veteran striker a shot on goal, which he brilliantly arrowed past the outstretching dive of David Forde.
If Hayes’ effort was good, though, Chaplin’s effort in first-half injury time was a moment of genius.
Latching on to Roberts’ throughball, Chaplin skilfully flicked the ball over Anthony Stewart before sending a first-time header over 6ft6in keeper Blackman as Fratton Park rose to celebrate one of the best goals witnessed in recent memories.
The second half began with Wycombe sending Pompey a warning sign the game was far from over as Stewart headed narrowly wide from close range.
Roberts then did similar for the hosts a moment later, although how he failed to convert with the goal gaping at his mercy remains something of a mystery.
It mattered little, though, when Baker popped up at the back post in the 53rd minute to slam home a left-foot volley at the far post from Enda Stevens’ inviting cross.
Pompey’s fans were chanting for five but Blackman was at his best to deny Chaplin his second, before reacting smartly to keep out Baker.
The second half was never likely to live up to the intensity of the first but with five minutes left on the clock, Evans went close to finding a fifth for the hosts - only to also be denied by Blackman, before substitute Noel Hunt flicked an effort wide in stoppage-time.
And with that Pompey collected a fourth straight league win to climb up to second spot in the table - behind Plymouth.