It had been a first half devoid of any real excitement at a wet and gusty Fratton Park.
But Ryan Williams lashed home the opener against Rochdale from a few yards out just before the half-time whistle sounded.
The Australian winger was quickest to react when a Christian Burgess header was saved by keeper Robert Sanchez.
And he was not surprised to see the hosts go on to claim a comfortable 3-0 victory that lifted them to third in the table.
Williams said: “It was a really good time to get the opening goal, especially we always seem to play better after the break.
“So we’re happy to keep a clean sheet in the first half because then we know we're going to create a lot of chances.
"It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time. I’d already gone to the front post when the ball went to the back and vice versa."
“I hope I get more opportunities like that from close-range and it’s always nice to score – however they go in.
“It was just a case of being in the right place at the right time. I’d already gone to the front post when the ball went to the back and vice versa.
“So I was feeling a bit frustrated and the one moment I didn’t really think about it, it landed right at my feet. I just whacked it in.
“We weren’t great in the first half and switched the system a bit to have two more attacking midfielders and won the ball higher up the pitch.”
There is little time to rest before Premier League giants Arsenal head to the south coast in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Monday night.
Williams said: “Everyone’s focused on recovery because of the amount of matches we’ve got in such a short period of time.
“But of course we’re excited and getting ready for what’s a really big game. I’m an Arsenal fan, so it’ll be a special one for me.”