Portsmouth 2 AFC Wimbledon 1
Pompey opened up 2019 with a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon at Fratton Park.
Jamal Lowe and Ronan Curtis were on target either side of half-time in a game the Blues ultimately made hard work of.
Kenny Jackett's troops almost paid the price of missing three clear-cut chances, withÂ Kwesi Appiah crashing home a superb equaliser midway through the second period.Â
Pompey made an excellent start and broke the deadlock in the eighth minute.
Visiting keeper Tom King could only parryÂ Curtis' right-foot shot and Lowe was quickest to react to tuck home from close range.
Kenny Jackett's sideÂ continued to press their foot on the gas without creating any real clear-cut chances.
On 23 minutes Curtis stood a cross up for Oli Hawkins at the back post but he headed into the arms of King.
Ben Thompson was at the heart of almost every Blues move but in the 35th minute he sent an acrobatic effort well off target.
To their credit, Wimbledon responded well in the second half, after spending most of the opening 45 minutes in their own half.
In the 48th minute Mitch Pinnock's headed effort was comfortably gathered by home stopper Craig MacGillivray.
Pompey should have doubled their advantage in the 54th minute. Lowe's reverse pass fed in Curtis but he dragged his right-footed shot wide from the edge of the box.
And Gareth Evans was guilty of squandering a golden opportunity in the 58th minute when his first-time effort was kept out by King.
Wimbledon started to take the upper hand after that effort, with Pompey frantic whenÂ on the ball.
Anthony Hartigan tried his luck from 25 yards but MacGillivray held the effort well.Â
Jackett's men yet again missed a gilt-edged chance on 74 minutes when Lowe headed wide on the edge of the six-yard box.
And Pompey were punished for the profligacy just seconds later asÂ Appiah lash home an unstoppable 30-yard effort.
Determined to pick up three points, the Blues made the perfectÂ response.
Thompson stood up a cross from the byline for Curtis and he rose highest to deftly head into the bottom corner.
Pompey held on well in the closing stage to begin the new year as they ended 2018 '“Â with three points.Â
And with Luton being held to a goalless draw against Barnsley, the Blues moved five points clear at the top of League One.Â