Blues romp to convincing victory
Craig Westcarr and Jed Wallace were on target as Pompey returned to winning ways with a confident display against Morecambe.
The result never appeared in doubt once Westcarr had fired the hosts ahead at the second attempt.
Wallace then completed a fine attacking move to double the advantage and the result would have been more emphatic without a string of fine saves from Shrimps keeper Scott Davies.
But a third goal did arrive late on as Wallace took his seasonal tally into double figures with another fierce finish.
Andy Awford made four changes from the side that exited the FA Cup at Aldershot on Wednesday night.
Loan pair Marcus Bean and Matt Fish were both thrown straight into the team in central midfield and at right-back respectively.
Dan Butler and Miles Storey also returned to the starting line-up, with Alex Wynter, Nicky Shorey, Nigel Atangana and Ricky Holmes all dropping to the bench.
The game got off to a slow start, although Bean was not far away from connecting with Westcarr’s dangerous cross.
But the Blues did break the deadlock on 19 minutes after Danny Hollands had found WESTCARR with a long throw.
The striker saw his first attempt blocked, but was first to the loose ball and lashed it home past Davies.
Kevin Ellison was causing problems at the other end of the pitch and forced Jack Whatmough to concede a foul and earn the game’s first booking.
The veteran forward then did well to bring down a long ball and draw a fine save from Paul Jones low to the keeper’s right.
Wallace went close with an effort that flew narrowly over moments earlier, while Davies did well to deny Westcarr a second goal with a smart stop.
The atmosphere picked up towards the end of the half when Bean was booked for a challenge on Alan Goodall, resulting in Ellison exchanging a few words with the North Lower.
And Wallace had another decent effort that landed on the roof of the net late in the first half.
But it was the visitors who almost scored just before the interval when Paul Mullin beat Whatmough to a cross, only to send his close range header wide.
Half Time: Pompey 1 Morecambe 0
The Shrimps had a couple of half-chances just after the restart, although neither efforts from Mullin and Alex Kenyon caused Jones much of a problem.
But it was the Blues who strengthened their advantage by scoring a superb goal on 54 minutes.
Storey got clear down the left and whipped in an excellent cross that WALLACE converted with a bullet header.
Pompey came agonisingly close to forging further ahead moments later after Ryan Taylor had played a neat one-two with Westcarr.
He burst through on goal and had just Davies to beat, but the keeper got the faintest of touches to turn Taylor’s shot wide.
And the hosts carved Morecambe open again on 66 minutes, with a flowing move that started with Taylor stealing possession inside his own box.
The striker burst forward and fed Wallace down the right. He then cut the ball back for Butler, who was only denied by a great reaction save from Davies.
Wallace had shown great finishing for his goal, but will want to forget his wild swipe at another Storey cross that only managed to connect with thin air.
Davies was single-handedly providing damage control for the visitors as the Blues continued to attack with vim and vigour.
Taylor looked like getting the goal his hard-working display deserved when Westcarr flicked the ball into his path, but twice the keeper got down well to deny him.
Ellison then almost set up a nervy finale when he turned on the edge of the box and fired just past the post on 83 minutes.
But WALLACE secured the victory late on by collecting another Storey pass and lashing the ball home at Davies’ near post.
Pompey (4-4-2): Jones; Fish, Robinson, Whatmough, Butler; Wallace, Bean (Atangana 90), Hollands (c), Storey; Westcarr, Taylor
Goals: Westcarr 11, Wallace 54, 88
Booked: Whatmough, Bean
Subs not used: Poke, Wynter, Chorley, Shorey, Close, Holmes
Morecambe (3-5-2): Davies; Parrish (McCready 76), Hughes (c), Edwards; Beeley, Goodall (Redshaw 62), Fleming, Kenyon, Wilson; Mullin (Devitt 76), Ellison
Booked: Goodall, Ellison, Hughes, Davies
Subs not used: Lumley, Wright, Watson, Williams
Referee: Gavin Ward
Attendance: 14,349 (115 away fans)