Boss pleased that Pompey held on for victory
It looked like it would be a comfortable victory for Pompey against Exeter.
Ricky Holmes’ wind-assisted effort at the end of the first half was followed up by two Ryan Bird headers after the break.
But the Blues had to endure a nervy end to the match after the visitors fought back with goals from Danny Coles and John O’Flynn.
Pompey held on, however, to record a third successive home triumph and stretch their unbeaten run to six games.
Guy Whittingham conceded that it probably should have been a more routine victory, but was pleased that his side managed to hold on.
The Blues boss said: “We would have hoped to see the game out more comfortably, but we stayed strong at the end.
“Exeter could afford to go for it because they were three down. They played without fear and it was nerve-wracking.
“But up until they scored the first one we looked like we were in control of the game.
“The conditions were difficult, but we passed it well and got ourselves into good areas.
“We knew Exeter would play football, but they didn’t hurt us until they just threw the ball into the box late on.
“We got our heads on the ball and bodies in the way of shots – and that’s what you have to do.”
Holmes opened the scoring when his cross from the left caught the wind and sailed over Grecians keeper Artur Krysiak.
Bird then capped his first league start for Pompey by converting crosses from Yassin Moutaouakil and substitute Andy Barcham.
Whittingham said: “I’m sure Ricky will say he meant it, but I think it was intended to be a cross and the wind played a big part.
“It was a good downward header from Ryan for his first goal and then his second came after a great run and cross from Andy – it’s great to have people on the bench who can come on and do that.”