It was his first start in the league since a victory at Bradford in early November.
And Anton Walkes certainly made the most of another opportunity to impress for the League One table-toppers.
He restored their lead with a fine strike into the top corner as Pompey secured a 5-2 victory at Fleetwood.
It ensured the perfect end to an encouraging 2018 and Walkes admits it was a special feeling to hit the target.
He said: “I saw that coming a few times because I had noticed the way their defender headed the ball out. I knew to drop back rather than run straight in.
“Then I just got my foot behind it and sent it back across goal – you could see how much I enjoyed it from my celebrations.
"It’s hard when you’re not in the team, but I’m still young and it’s a learning process for me."
“There was loads of relief because it’s been a frustrating time for me, so it was nice to end the year on a high.
“Now the games are coming thick and fast. It’s hard when you’re not in the team, but I’m still young and it’s a learning process for me.
“I take everything on board and just wait for my opportunity, so it’s pleasing when that pays off like it has done this time.”
Ben Thompson had fired the visitors ahead, only for Fleetwood turn it around to lead 2-1 at the interval.
But Brett Pitman levelled after Dean Marney had been sent off and Walkes then struck before Jamal Lowe’s brace wrapped things up.
“It was a tough, but enjoyable, game,” said the full-back. “It one of those days when we really had to keep digging in to get the result.
“We were disappointed at the break, but still confident and just needed to eradicate a few of those errors we were making.
“It was a position we shouldn’t have been in because in the first 10 minutes they couldn’t get out of their half.
“So we needed to keep a positive mindset and know there will always be times during a season when you fall behind.
“The important thing is to keep going for the full 90 minutes and know that there will be opportunities to come back.”