Striker reacts to Mansfield victory
It was a moment that relieved the growing tension building around Fratton Park.
And Noel Hunt was delighted to open his goalscoring account for Pompey in their 4-0 victory over Mansfield.
They were only leading through Gary Roberts’ early penalty, with the visitors reduced to nine men following two red cards.
So the relief was palpable when Hunt converted Kal Naismith’s low cross before Carl Baker added a late brace.
The Irish striker said: “The gaffer was telling everyone before the game that we needed to relax and get back to enjoying playing our football.
“But it was a difficult day for a lot of the boys out there because the rain was coming down pretty hard at times and that made the pitch heavy.
“There was a bit of slipping and sliding, but we still tried to play our passing game and, like good teams do, we took our chances in the end. Sometimes patience is the key.
“The reaction from the supporters is understandable because Mansfield were down to nine men, but we were just trying to move the ball around, stretch them and wait for that opening.
“We tried to play some quality balls into the box rather than just lump it in there. We were trying to keep calm and then a few seconds later we scored.
“The fans want goals and exciting football and you can understand why there’s a bit of frustration at times.
“It was great on a personal level to score, but getting the win was the most important thing.”
Hunt has now featured in each of Pompey’s past four fixtures, having recovered from a groin problem.
He said: “I’ve been back for a few weeks now and it’s good to be on the pitch because the more minutes I get, the fitter I feel.”