Pompey have done well at getting into winning positions in recent weeks, only to fail at clearing the final hurdle.
But they certainly got the job done against Southend, with John Marquis’ goal on the stroke of half-time opening the floodgates.
Ellis Harrison doubled the lead from a tricky angle following the interval and after Brandon Goodship had briefly raised the visitors’ hopes of a comeback, the striker added a penalty.
Substitute Marcus Harness then wrapped things up late on and Joe Gallen believes the 4-1 victory can lift the Blues.
Pompey’s assistant manager said: “It was tricky for us in the first half and a little bit nervy after failing to come away with three points against Oxford on Saturday.
“Ben Close almost scored and then John got the goal right on half-time which just seemed to lift the tension a bit.
“We ran out in the second half and played very well. They pulled one back, but after the penalty you thought we should see it out and then Marcus got the fourth.
"Our fans were great yet again and going towards them after the break really helped."
“Our fans were great yet again and going towards them after the break really helped. You can feel the confidence coming back – from them and the team.
“It was nice to get both John and Ellis on the pitch together and we thought we could do that for this game.
“Both of them have ended up scoring, so it was a good move and hopefully it can work again in the future.”
With the first choice penalty taker and his deputy both on the bench, Harrison had to persuade both Marquis and Ronan Curtis to let him be on spot-kick duties.
Gallen said: “It’s actually a good thing that so many people wanted it, even with Brett Pitman and Gareth Evans off the pitch.
“We hadn’t actually designated a taker for this game, so I think we’ll make sure that we do for the next one!”
Craig MacGillivray missed out with a minor injury, while Ross McCrorie had to go off in the first half after hurting his hamstring.
Gallen said: “It was a very close call with Craig, but he felt his thigh taking a goal-kick in training. He had a scan that was a bit inconclusive, so we didn’t want to risk it.
“If there was a little tear then it could lead to a big problem and he’s a very important player, so we decided to leave him out.
“There will be a scan for Ross on his hamstring and he’ll probably be out for a few weeks, but we’ll just have to see.”