Pompey hit win trail in '˜key' period

Pompey are up and running during the festive period.

Wednesday, 27th December 2017, 9:00 am
Brett Pitman's penalty ensured Pompey registered a first win of the festive period. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Kenny Jackett is convinced the hectic four-game spell is ‘key’ to the season’s outcome.

The Blues responded to the disappointing 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury before Christmas with a Boxing Day triumph.

The 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon was fully deserved – even if the game was often uninspiring during the heavy rain.

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Lyle Taylor’s penalty had cancelled out Ben Close’s maiden Fratton Park goal as the visitors rallied.

But Brett Pitman’s 13th of the campaign – courtesy of a 72nd minute spot-kick – settled the contest.

Now Pompey find themselves back in seventh spot – short of the play-off positions by goal difference.

And with Northampton and Bristol Rovers coming up, Jackett’s men are targeting further progress.

The Blues boss said: ‘It was very important to quickly respond to Shrewsbury.

‘As a manager, I was looking at four games in a 10 or 11-day period and 12 points to play for and saw it as a good opportunity.

‘We’ve got three out of a potential six so far, with two games to go.

‘If we want to chase the top six then all of the big clubs at the top will get a good points total out of this particular period. It’s a key to the season and an opportunity.

‘Compared to our match at Shrewsbury, yesterday we had more of a foothold in it and, by the end, more shots and more chances.

‘If you look at strikes on goal and chances, we had more than Wimbledon.

‘Look at what they created. They had half-a-chance in the first few minutes where (Cody) McDonald got through and Luke (McGee) did very well reading it and jumping over the ball because the centre-forward couldn’t quite reach it. That was one opportunity I could remember.

‘Going into the second period, all of our shots, all of our chances, came towards the end in the final 20 minutes when they went away from a back five to a back four.’

Referee Craig Hicks awarded two penalties in the Fratton Park encounter – both netted successfully.

And Jackett believed the Surrey official was correct in both of his decisions.

He added: ‘I did think their’s was a penalty. My first impressions were it was handball by Christian Burgess and I am presuming it was in the box.

‘Taylor converted that penalty but after that I can’t think of any chances they had or created against us.’