Portsmouth's second-half super show sees them extend League One lead

Pompey delivered a thumping 5-2 win at Fleetwood to finish the year top of League One.

Saturday, 29th December 2018, 11:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:12 am
Anton Walkes celebrates his goal at Fleetwood. (Photo by Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com)

Kenny Jackett's men opened up a three-point advantage over their promotion rivals at the Highbury Stadium on an afternoon of frenetic action in their final outing of 2018.

Two goals from Jamal Lowe along with efforts from Brett Pitman, Anton, Wakes and Ben Thompson did the damage - with four of those goals arriving after the break.

Paddy Madden and Ched Evans got the home side's goals before Dean Marney was sent off six minutes after the restart.

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But it was the ruthless nature of Pompey's play which saw them deliver with the only negative being Lee Brown limping off in the first half.

Jackett made three changes with Pitman, Ben Close and Walkes in for Gareth Evans and injured duo Nathan Thompson and Oli Hawkins.

There was one decent early chance apiece with Evans' header saved by Craig MacGillivray after two minutes and Matt Clarke's half volley turned over by Alex Cairns five minutes later.

Pompey were forced into a change after 18 minutes as Lee Brown pulled up with what appeared to be hamstring and was replaced by Brandon Haunstrup.

The visitors took the lead after 26 minutes and it was a peach of a 25 yarder from Thompson who took a touch and crashed a shot home via the underside of the crossbar.

Pompey were looking comfortable until six minutes before the break as Madden levelled as he fired home Lewis Coyle's cross from the right.

It got worse for the Blues two minutes before the break as Evans converted from the spot after Clarke was adjudged to have fouled Madden in the box.

Pompey went close with the last chance of the half as Ronan Curtis crossed from the left but Ross Wallace denied Jamal Low a tap in.

The home side were reduced to 10 men six minutes after the restart as Marney was given a second for a hack at Thompson.

Then Biggins' last-ditch tackle denied Walkes a certain goal from Pitman's header across across goal.

But the game spun Pompey's way with two goals in a minute as Pitman converted a spot kick after ref Matt Donohue said Curtis was pulled down by Ross Wallace in the box.

Then, in the 58th minute, Walkes put his side in front as he crashed home a left-footed drive from just inside the box.

Pompey were looking comfortable after regaining the lead, but had a huge let off 10 minutes from time when Fleetwood hit the woodwork twice from a corner with Madden and James Wallace unable to force the ball home.

Seconds later the visitors settled it as Lowe guided home Curtis' ball in and then added a fifth three minutes later as he thumped home Thompson's delivery.

That made it a comfortable finale as Pompey saw out the year in style.