Thompson: Nervy but familiar Portsmouth resilience came through 

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A tense victory for Pompey’s 913 travelling supporters at Glanford Park.

And nerves also for Nathan Thompson as the Blues’ rearguard valiantly held out for a 2-1 success.

Nathan Thompson battles away as Pompey hold off Scunthorpe to win 2-1. Picture: Joe Pepler

Nathan Thompson battles away as Pompey hold off Scunthorpe to win 2-1. Picture: Joe Pepler

Lee Novak provided Scunthorpe a lifeline on the hour mark to reduce the deficit – and destroy the visitors’ firm grip on Saturday’s match.

It prompted a fretful finale as Kenny Jackett’s men dug in to cling onto a triumph which extended their lead at the top of League One to four points. 

Pompey’s results on the road have been outstanding this season, with 10 wins and two draws from 12 fixtures in all competitions.

But certainly the Glanford Park trip was not without its moments of concern – for supporters and Thompson.

The right-back said: ‘Goals change games and Novak’s definitely altered the swing of it.

‘They could throw players forward, they had nothing to lose, especially in the last 10-15 minutes, and credit to the lads we dug in, like we have numerous times.

‘It gets nervy on the pitch, though, especially when the ball is being flung in. 

‘It can land anywhere, which is why there were the amount of blocks from the boys.

'That is the case no matter who you are playing. They are throwing balls into the box and have six or seven players up front trying to flick something on it and naturally it is going to be nervy – but we stood strong and thankfully got the three points.

‘There is a real resilience about this side and the gaffer is able to call upon Burge (Christian Burgess) off the bench and put him straight into the action, which just shows the quality we’ve got and resilience this team possesses.

'It's demoralising for a team who constantly throw balls into the box and are having them frequently headed away, you have got to try to come up with other ideas and frankly we were able to rise to the occasion.

‘You have two centre-halves in Jack (Whatmough and Clarkie (Matt Clarke), young lads putting their body on the line and winning everything in the air.

‘They were up against Lee Novak, an experienced player, and you saw the quality they have, constantly clearing their lines and getting up the pitch.’

Scunthorpe represented a fifth 2-1 victory this season for the Blues as they continue to chalk up tight victories.

It leaves them four points clear of Sunderland at the top of League One.

Thompson added: 'Most three points in this league are hard earned, we mentioned in the dressing room how it will be nice to have a game like Maidenhead where we just see it out!

'That shows even when we are not playing well we've got that little bit between our teeth which you need to get to win promotion from our league.’