Tubbs header secures victory for Blues
Pompey returned to winning ways as Matt Tubbs opened his goalscoring account against bottom club Hartlepool.
The hosts enjoyed plenty of chances early in the game, although had to wait until after the interval for the decisive moment.
Pools, meanwhile, showed plenty of endeavour, but Paul Jones was a virtual spectator between the sticks.
Andy Awford made one enforced change from the side that impressed in a goalless draw at Wycombe the previous week.
Ben Chorley suffered an ankle injury at Adams Park, so Joe Devera took his place in the three-man defence.
Pompey came flying out of the traps and might have taken the lead in the opening seconds, only for Devera to prod wide from a Jed Wallace free-kick.
The latter was proving a real handful and created another opening soon after, bursting forward and swapping passes with Tubbs before finding Ryan Taylor, who turned and saw his effort blocked.
Wallace then delivered another cross that was just out of reach for a stretching Danny Hollands in the box.
The hosts kept pouring forward and a fine ball from Devera sent Tubbs scampering down the right, only for his centre to be cut out by debutant David Mirfin.
Hartlepool launched their first attack on 12 minutes, but it came to nothing and Pompey were soon on the break.
Wallace found Tubbs, but the striker was denied his first Blues goal by a timely block from the impressive Mirfin.
A foul on Jack Whatmough then meant Wallace had a chance to score himself, with a 25-yard free-kick beaten away by United keeper Scott Flinders.
The game soon settled down after such a frenetic start, although James Dunne was still flinging himself into – and winning – tackles.
Pompey did start to move through the gears again towards the end of the half and a quick counter-attack saw Wallace’s cross cleared to Taylor, who turned and saw his shot blocked.
Wallace was involved in every move and a clever threaded pass saw Josh Passley get free down the right, but his low ball into the cross was cut out by the omnipresent Mirfin.
Then, just before the break, Dan Butler delivered a dangerous free-kick that Paul Robinson could only head straight into Flinders’ arms.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Hartlepool 0
It was Pompey who were quicker out of the blocks at the start of the second half as they looked to break the deadlock.
They had a chance on 52 minutes when Taylor’s cross was blocked by Mirfin, but Wallace could not head the loose ball on target.
And Robinson was inches away from scoring soon after when he met Butler’s corner and sent the ball flying inches past the post.
But the Blues were ahead on the hour mark when Taylor sent in a great ball from the left and TUBBS confidently headed home his first goal for the club.
They might have added to the lead moments later, but Passley could not find space to shoot, while Devera then fired straight against his team-mate.
Hartlepool tried to get forward and find an equaliser only to be repelled by a three-man Pompey defence that were doing a fine job in protecting Jones.
At the other end, Wallace attempted to thread a pass through to the advancing Tubbs, but the striker could not bring the ball under control.
Wallace then tried to pick out Whatmough with a free-kick, with Scott Harrison forced to head clear and Hollands lashing the loose ball narrowly over.
Pompey were unable to add to their lead in the closing stages, but it mattered not as they comfortably held on for a valuable victory.
Pompey (3-5-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson (c), Whatmough; Passley, Dunne, Wallace, Hollands, Butler; Tubbs (Chaplin 90+3), Taylor
Goals: Tubbs 60
Subs not used: Poke, Webster, Ertl, Atangana, Barcham, Westcarr
Hartlepool (3-5-2): Flinders (c); Harrison, Mirfin, Jones; Duckworth, Tshibola (Franks 82), Bates (Featherstone 13), Woods, Austin; Morgan (Harewood 59), Fenwick
Booked: Tshibola, Harrison, Featherstone
Subs not used: Maxted, Richards, Holden, Walker
Referee: Graham Horwood
Attendance: 14,397 (183 away fans)