Boss full of praise for triumphant Blues
One point from a possible six ensured that 2015 ended on a disappointing note for Pompey.
But the new year began in fine fashion as Crawley were comprehensively beaten at Fratton Park.
Matt Clarke headed home an early opener, while Marc McNulty added to the lead before the interval.
Substitutes Ben Tollitt and Gary Roberts then combined well after it, with the latter wrapping up an enjoyable afternoon for the hosts.
And Paul Cook was delighted to see his side produce such an impressive performance.
The Blues boss said: “We started off a bit sloppy, but soon got into gear and created numerous chances.
“Matt’s playing really well and is a man out there, despite being such a young age. The two young boys at the back are as good a partnership as there is in this league.
“The game probably could have been over by the break and credit to Crawley because they didn’t just lie down in the second half.
“They caused us more problems as the game wore on, so the third goal calmed everyone down. It relaxed the whole stadium.
“Gary needs games to get his fitness back, but he’s got quality and when he gets into those positions, then you expect goals.
“Great credit to Ben as well because you can see the energy he’s got and it was pleasing to see both substitutes combine to such great effect.
“The lads have worked ever so hard over Christmas and probably not got the results we felt we deserved.
“So we’ve got to give them a pat on the back and say well done for that display and the result.”
The only disappointing note for Pompey was that the three sides above them in the League Two table also collected maximum points.
Cook said: “They keep winning, but it’s a long season – there are a lot of games still to come and plenty of points to play for.”
Watch Cook’s thoughts on the game below or subscribe to Pompey PlayerHD for extended interviews with the manager and Kyle Bennett.