Leam Richardson thanked Pompey’s luck after Hallam Hope’s remarkable late miss.
Michael Smith’s second-half strike gave the Blues a 1-0 victory over Carlisle on Saturday.
It was a deserved triumph for Paul Cook’s side, who now lie five points off the League Two automatic promotion spots with a game in hand.
Yet the Cumbrians were left to rue an 83rd-minute moment involving Hope.
Derek Asamoah delivered a cross from the left and somehow the striker on-loan from Bury failed to connect from a yard out at the far post.
Hope had been recalled to Keith Curle’s team having not made the squad in the Easter Monday victory over Bristol Rovers.
And Richardson spoke of his relief.
Pompey’s assistant manager said: ‘You have seen them go in against us this season a few times, especially that late one.
‘But when you work as hard as the lads did you earn your luck and they got a little bit of luck on Saturday.
‘He looked like he was going to tap it in and thankfully mistimed his legs and mistimed the ball.
‘At the time I was thinking “miss it”. I think I pulled him back!
‘You try to keep Carlisle to a minimum of chances but in recent weeks they have had some good results and have been pushing up the league.
‘If you are going to be disappointed on Saturday you are going to be disappointed you haven’t gone on to score a second so that wouldn’t be a problem at the end.
‘However, thankfully we got a clean sheet and won.
‘We scored once but hit the post, the keeper has made a few saves and we had various other opportunities.
‘We are reasonably pleased with what we did.’