Boss happy with second half dominance
Pompey have not quite crossed the League Two safety line yet.
But they are certainly heading down the home straight following a 3-2 victory over Bristol Rovers at a packed Fratton Park.
Goals from Adam Webster, Ryan Taylor and Wes Fogden saw the Blues record a fourth successive triumph.
It moves them seven points clear of the drop zone with just three games left to play.
Rovers caused Pompey plenty of problems in their own quest to avoid relegation, but Andy Awford felt that the hosts ultimately deserved the win.
The caretaker Blues boss said: “That was probably our biggest test since I’ve come in. Fair play to Bristol Rovers – they gave us one heck of a game.
“They caused us a few problems and were arguably the better side in the first half. They created a number of chances.
“But it wasn’t as if they were totally dominant and we had quite a few chances of our own.
“I asked the lads at the break to show some character, to stand up and be counted.
“Boy did they do that – I thought they were absolutely magnificent in the second half. We stepped it up and deserved the victory in the end.”
Pompey’s second goal was a sharp corner routine that led to Taylor diverting Danny Hollands’ shot into the net.
And second half substitute Fogden then grabbed the winner after missing the last game through injury.
Awford said: “We worked on that corner routine on the training ground and it’s great when things like that come off.
“It was our scout Martin Hinshelwood who came up with that and then it’s up to the coaching staff to implement it with the players. It’s a big team effort.
“Danny scuffed it a bit and Ryan’s got a touch on the way through. He’s a centre-forward, so I’m sure he’ll be claiming it.
“Wes wasn’t quite ready to start, but his energy is infectious and he made a big impact when he came on.
“He gets around the pitch and is able to affect the game so much from that central area. He was magnificent and I’m delighted he was able to score at the Fratton End.”
Ben Chorley was not involved in the matchday squad despite completing a four-match suspension, but Awford insists that the defender still has a big role to play.
He said: “Ben’s vital to us and is a massive part of our squad. He’ll have some minutes before the end of the season, but I thought it would be unfair on the other boys to put him straight back in.”