In-form Blues move a step closer to safety

Pompey's Michael Drennan attempts to race away from Bristol Rovers defender Lee Brown Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey's Michael Drennan attempts to race away from Bristol Rovers defender Lee Brown Picture: Joe Pepler
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Substitute Wes Fogden was the match-winner as Pompey all but secured their Football League place with a 3-2 win over Bristol Rovers today.

Fogden settled an entertaining clash after 70 minutes after Andy Awford’s side were twice pegged back in the first half.

Adam Webster and Ryan Taylor got the goals but Matt Harrold twice levelled as Rovers fought for their lives.

Pompey will have to wait until Monday to know for certain they are safe, but with the gap seven points to the bottom two, Awford’s men look certain to stay up after recording four wins on the bounce.

The Blues’ start lacked the ferocity of the past two games.

But it was Awford’s side who made the breakthrough after 11 minutes through Webster.

He hit a left-footed drive from 25 yards to make it two goals in his past two starts for the teenager.

That brought the Blues to life with Jed Wallace and Michael Drennan both going close.

Carson then saved supberbly to keep out Michael Smith’s six-yard header as Rovers came back into the game.

Rovers were starting to threaten and signalled further intent when Matt Harrold fired just over after getting in front of Jack Whatmough.

But there was a huge slice of fortune about their leveller as Harrold’s shot took a big deflection before beating Carson’s despairing dive.

The Rovers fans were making themselves heard and were almost celebrating a second 10 minutes before the beak, as Danny Hollands headed against his own crossbar from a corner.

David Clarkson then fired acrobatically over before two goals in 60 seconds before the break.

Holmes’ corner looked a poor one but found Hollands on the edge of the box and Taylor guided home his low drive.

But more poor Pompey defending gifted the Gas another leveller, as Harrold produced a diving header after being left on his own and forced home Lee Brown’s cross.

Pompey had the first real threat of the second half as Taylor headed Holmes’ free-kick just wide.

But Rovers were still causing problems and having plenty of the play as they battled for their own survival.

Tom Parkes should have done better with his header from six yards as he directed is straight at Carson.

But Pompey restored their lead after 70 minutes with sub Fogden doing the damage.

Taylor did well to keep Holmes’ cross in play and it was Fogden whop was hungriest to stab the ball home.

That got Fratton rocking and Whatmough and the inspired Holmes then had chances to put the game out of Rovers’s reach.

They couldn’t take them but Pompey held on to put them on 54 points – and 14th in the table.