Blues ease to comfortable Fratton triumph
Pompey continued their impressive home form by cruising to a 3-0 victory over Carlisle.
Craig Westcarr got the ball rolling with a close-range finish in the opening stages, before Miles Storey lashed home the second midway through the first half.
The Blues were in control for virtually the whole match and wrapped up the win when Danny Hollands opened his account for the season after the interval.
Hayden White was then sent off late on to cap a miserable afternoon for the Cumbrians.
Andy Awford made one change from the side that were narrowly beaten at Shrewsbury the previous week.
Alex Wynter replaced the ill Ben Chorley in defence, with Joe Devera moving to centre-back.
Pompey got off to the perfect start, taking the lead with just 80 seconds on the clock.
United keeper Dan Hanford could only parry Storey’s angled effort and WESTCARR pounced to tuck away the loose ball.
The visitors came close to a leveller when Patrick Brough drilled inches past the post.
But that was as close as they came to scoring in a first half that was totally dominated by the Blues.
Westcarr hit a tame effort straight into Hanford’s arms, before Jed Wallace’s ambitious long-range shot was deflected narrowly over.
Pompey did increase their advantage on 26 minutes, however, after breaking quickly from a Carlisle corner.
Ricky Holmes played a delightful pass over Courtney Meppen-Walter and STOREY smashed home a ferocious finish.
The hosts kept pushing forward against their shell-shocked opponents, although Nicky Shorey and Holmes both failed to find the target.
Hollands came close to adding his name to the scoresheet on 41 minutes, but his header was hacked from the line, while Joe Devera’s follow-up was scrambled behind.
Storey was then denied by some more desperate defending in stoppage-time as the Blues finished the half with an attacking flourish.
Half Time: Pompey 2 Carlisle 0
It was United who created the first opening after the restart, although Alex Marrow could not turn in Matt Robson’s free-kick at the near post.
Pompey did not look quite as bright as they had been before the break, although they were still enjoying plenty of possession.
The hosts were guilty of a few misplaced passes, but Carlisle were not really looking capable punish them.
They did threaten with a quick break on 69 minutes when Derek Asamoah met David Amoo’s cross, only to send an acrobatic over-head effort flying harmlessly wide.
Pompey came close to extending their lead when Storey went past Hanford and teed-up Westcarr, but Tom Anderson made a fantastic block to deny the striker.
The third goal did arrive just seconds later, though, with Westcarr sending a cross towards the far post, where HOLLANDS was waiting to slam home.
Awford made his first switch on 79 minutes and Westcarr received a standing ovation as he made way for Ryan Taylor.
And with the Blues still in total control, Bradley Tarbuck was handed his league debut in place of Storey.
Pompey were still looking to add to the scoring and Taylor twice went close to adding a gloss to the final result.
It was the visitors who had the final say, although not in the way they would have wanted as White was dismissed for a late challenge on Hollands.
Pompey (4-4-2): Jones; Wynter, Robinson, Devera, Shorey; Wallace (Close 88), Dunne, Hollands (c), Holmes; Storey (Tarbuck 82), Westcarr (Taylor 79)
Goals: Westcarr 2, Storey 26, Hollands 74
Booked: Hollands, Tarbuck
Subs not used: Poke, Ertl, Butler, Atangana
Carlisle (4-4-2): Hanford; White, Anderson, Meppen-Walter (Robson 46), Grainger (c); Potts, Dempsey, Marrow, Brough (Amoo 63); Beck, Iliev (Asamoah 46)
Sent off: White
Booked: Grainger, Potts, Marrow
Subs not used: Eccles, Symington, Sweeney, Dicker
Referee: Christopher Sarginson
Attendance: 15,533 (347 away fans)