Pompey turn on style in Crawley cruise

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Rampant Pompey returned to winning ways with a 3-0 success over Crawley Town.

First-half goals from Matt Clarke and Marc McNulty set Paul Cook’s side on their way before sub Gary Roberts settled it with seven minutes left.

Matt Clarke celebrates opening the scoring for Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

Matt Clarke celebrates opening the scoring for Pompey Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues were flying in the first 45 minutes and carved out a host of chances with their tempo too much for the visitors.

It was more of the same after the break with Kyle Bennett outstanding for Pompey.

It was as dominant a first-half display as Pompey had produced all season as they controlled proceedings.

They were two goals to the good at the break – but their play warranted more.

It took three minutes for Pompey to carve out their first chance as Caolan Lavery just failed to meet a dangerous Ben Davies cross with his diving header.

The opener came 10 minutes later as Matt Clarke thumped home his header from Ben Davies’ corner.

Clarke then headed wide from another corner seven minutes later, before the ref ignored penalty appeals as Lavery and Lewis Young tussled in the box.

Enda Stevens then put two lovely balls across the box which no blue shirt met.

A third perfect centre saw Pompey double their advantage as McNulty calmly took a touch before dispatching his finish.

Pompey continued to carve out chances through the likes of the lively Bennett, Gareth Evans and Lavery.

Roarie Deacon beat Clarke and fired at Brian Murphy after Simon Walton fizzed a free-kick wide.

But it was a rampant half of football from Paul Cook’s men.

The pattern of the game remained the same after the restart with Stevens firing just wide on 49 minutes.

Bennett then fired just over before the visitors had their best chance as Gwion Edwards fired a free-kick off the crossbar.

Pomey were still on top, though, and Lavery was somehow denied from a corner as his header was cleared by Young, who knew little about it.

Matt Harrold had a good chance to reduce the arrears with 11 minutes left but fired wide.

Pompey then put the game to bed as Ben Tollitt ran three quarters the length of the pitch and squared for fellow sub Gary Roberts to gleefully finish.

The scoreline was the least the Blues deserved for their display.