Evans seals late Pompey victory

Gareth Evans celebrates his winner against Walsall Picture: Joe Pepler
Gareth Evans celebrates his winner against Walsall Picture: Joe Pepler
Anton Walkes. Picture: Joe Pepler/ PinPep

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Pompey kept up their play-off charge with a well-earned victory at Walsall.

Gareth Evans’ late winner ensured the Blues clinched a 1-0 win at the Bescot Stadium to keep the pressure on the top six.

Pompey were the better side throughout but failed to truly test home keeper Liam Roberts in the first half.

Ben Close, Jack Whatmough and Brett Pitman all had decent opportunities but didn’t make the Walsall stopper work.

Luke McGee also wasn’t forced into a save, with Kieron Morris dragging a shot well wide on 40 minutes, as both sides went into the break goalless.

Kal Naismith went close to opening the scoring for Kenny Jackett’s troops seven minutes after the interval when his deflected right-foot shot just missed the far post, before he stung a shot wide on 65 minutes.

And Pitman came agonisingly close to converting Naismith’s cross-cum-shot a minute later but just couldn’t get there.

Walsall mustered their best chance in the 74th minute when Luke Leahy picked out Amadou Bakayoko in the box but the striker couldn’t keep his effort down.

Pompey poured on the pressure and finally made the breakthrough 11 minutes from time.

Jamal Lowe laid the ball into the path of Evans on the edge of the box, whose stinging shot crept inside the far post to clinch the three points for the visitors.

It’s a third straight success for Jackett’s side as they remain two points outside the play-offs..