Wycombe 1 Portsmouth 3: Neil Allen's verdict - Partying at the graveyard of Blues managers past as promotion push powers on

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Adams Park holds its demons, particularly for those managers and head coaches of Pompey persuasion.

The visiting fans chanted for Kenny Jackett to be sacked in September 2019, prompting him to placate angry supporters outside the ground before boarding the team bus having negotiated an uneasy truce.

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Last season the Sky cameras captured noisy renditions of 'This is embarrassing' and boos upon the half-time whistle of a 2-0 loss as Danny Cowley's reign limped towards its inevitable conclusion.

Pompey players celebrate Christian Saydee's goal in the 3-1 success at Wycombe. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImagesPompey players celebrate Christian Saydee's goal in the 3-1 success at Wycombe. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Pompey players celebrate Christian Saydee's goal in the 3-1 success at Wycombe. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

As for Paul Cook, a 1-0 defeat in February 2017 left the Blues seventh in League Two and their manager a demoralised figure. That was until the travelling faithful cheerfully sung 'Blue Army' for 30 minutes after the final whistle to revitalise his spirits.

Incidentally, Pompey lost two of their subsequent 18 matches and claimed the League Two title on the final day of the campaign.

No such agonies for John Mousinho on Good Friday, of course, despite being banished to the stands for the match's duration, courtesy of a one-game suspension following three yellow cards.

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While predecessors have toiled at Wycombe's home, some suffering irreparable damage to their Pompey careers, the boss basking in this eternal Honeymoon period remains indomitable.

A 3-1 success has positioned the Blues within eight points of automatic promotion as a remarkable campaign heads towards a Championship outcome which is now surely inevitable.

The gap between third-placed Bolton is a towering 11 points, while, of their final six matches, four are at Fratton Park, including Tuesday night's clash with second-placed Derby. Even Pompey couldn't blow it from here.

Reasons to be cynical have long run out, the Fratton faithful are now sitting back and finally enjoying the ride. Why even the volatile injury situation is beginning to subside - epitomised by Tino Anjorin returning to first-team thoughts.

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While promotion rivals' form fluctuates, often wildly, Mousinho's men have now rattled up 13 matches unbeaten, consisting of 10 victories and three draws.

Neither are they Fratton Park flat-track bullies, boasting the best away record in League One, with none of the top-13 able to conquer the Blues on their travels this term.

Friday's Wycombe encounter presented another compelling argument why this team has deservedly occupied the summit for 27 of the last 28 weeks. They are good, very, very good.

In the meantime, Bolton drew, Barnsley and Peterborough surprisingly lost at home, while Derby picked up another win. Crucially, all lack the consistency of a Pompey side unbeaten since January 13.

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Besides, Mousinho has a happy knack of successfully pulling off big calls - and it was once more in evidence during victory number 25 of this compelling League One campaign.

Kusini Yengi may be in fine scoring form for club and country, including the match-winner off the bench at Peterborough, yet Colby Bishop earned the nod to remain up front. A decision attracting pre-match criticism from some supporters.

Invariably, the former Accrington man netted with two classy first-time finishes, taking his season tally to 18 in one of his best performances of the campaign.

Then there was Zak Swanson continuing at right-back, irrespective of Joe Rafferty's return to good health following illness, while fit-again Connor Ogilvie was thrown straight in at left-back.

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Bold decisions yet, ultimately, reflecting excellent judgement from Mousinho, who has been a revelation since a January 2023 appointment viewed as underwhelming and unambitious by many of the Fratton faithful.

With assistant Jon Harley overseeing the team from the Adams Park dug-out, the Blues edged a tight first half before looking every inch potential title winners after the break to ease to a comfortable triumph.

The fixture was just two minutes and 54 seconds old when the inspirational Abu Kamara forced his way down the right before his right-footed cross was met with a first-time finish from Bishop, albeit assisted by a helpful deflection off Nigel Lonwijk.

Moments later, Pompey supporter Matt Butcher produced a smart left-footed finish after Richard Kone's intelligent lay-off to make it 1-1.

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Yet the visitors' advantage was restored on 28 minutes when Saydee laid the ball down the line for Kamara to race onto, and he pulled back a cross for Bishop to meet with a first-time right-footed shot into the far corner.

From that point, the Blues dictated the game's tempo, content to retain possession and take the sting out of a Wycombe team who faded significantly after the break.

Once Luke Leahy struck the bar with a free-kick, it was left for Saydee to wrap up the 3-1 success on 67 minutes when Kamara lobbed a left-footed cross to the far post and Lonwijk's headed clearance fell for the attacker, who lashed home a powerful half volley.

Adams Park hasn't been kind to many Pompey bosses. It may be a while before the Blues' next visit.

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