Portsmouth 4 Rochdale 1: they said what?

The Fratton Park big screen shows Pompey beating Rochdale and Sunderland losing to Coventry. Picture: Joe Pepler
The Fratton Park big screen shows Pompey beating Rochdale and Sunderland losing to Coventry. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey delivered a fifth successive League One victory against Rochdale yesterday. 

The Blues romped to a 4-1 win at Fratton Park, with Oli Hawkins, Brett Pitman, Gareth Evans and Jamal Lowe all on the scoresheet.

Here’s how those closest to the action saw the game…

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett

It’s wide open and I’m really pleased with the players today.

It leaves the table very, very tight. We have 15 points to play for and have to get as many as we can out of those.

We must keep our good form with a crucial Easter period coming up.

It was a pressure situation and I thought Rochdale showed a lot of attacking intent. They've had good recent results and experience up front with the likes of Ian Henderson, Matt Done and Aaron Wilbraham.

They kept that all the way through, they had a threat up front and you could see that right the way through the game.

Rochdale manager Brain Barry-Murphy

It was a very difficult afternoon for us.

In the first half, we played some good football and had some good chances before they scored.

The clinical nature of their goal, it wasn’t a surprise for me as at any-given moment they can score at any moment.

Blues striker Oli Hawkins 

It was a very good win. We were on the back of a hard-fought win at Wycombe.

It was good to be back at Fratton Park after such a long period of time and to get a good win.

They scored to make it 2-1 which made it interesting.

But we showed good character and were able to go on and get two more goals.

It could have been more.

It was a strong performance and it puts us in good stead for the final five games.

Chief sports writer Neil Allen

Pompey's promotions aspirations continue to grow following a sixth-straight win.

With five of those arriving in League One, they are now two points off Barnsley with a game in hand.

Rochdale were difficult opponents at times, but there's always goals in this Kenny Jackett side.

And while their play-off presence is now assured, the focus remains on second spot.

Pompey reporter Lewis Mason

Pompey show no sign of letting up as they pursue a League One automatic promotion spot.

The Blues delivered a fifth successive league victory after seeing off Rochdale to close the gap on the top-two to two points with five games to play.

Oli Hawkins' header and Brett Pitman's penalty – both in the first half – put Pompey on the way to another crucial victory.

Substitute Gareth Evans and Jamal Lowe struck in the final half-hour to wrap up all three points, after Aaron Wilbraham had pulled one back for Dale.

That made it 15 points from a possible 15 for the Blues – and should this momentum continue automatic promotion would likely become a reality.