Pools Take Points At Pompey
Jack Baldwin, James Poole and Greg Rutherford scored a goal each to help Pools pick up all three points at Portsmouth this afternoon.
The hosts looked the brightest from the off, pushing forward and enjoying space down the right hand side.
Jed Wallace, Darel Russell and James Keene were threats for the hosts, keeping the Pools’ backline on their toes.
After dealing with a few waves of attack, Pools began to ask a few questions of their own; an Evan Horwood corner took the hosts a few attempts to clear and there were half-chances for Horwood and Hartley.
Scott Flinders was soon back in action at the other end, getting down quickly to palm away an effort from Shaun Cooper from distance.
The Pools’ keeper then pulled off two fantastic saves to keep his side in the game; he first showed great reactions to block from Russell before blocking a David Connolly effort in the bottom corner. Russell headed wide from the resulting corner.
With 18 minutes on the clock though, the tide turned in Pools’ favour, a deep freekick lofted perfectly into the area by Evan Horwood found Jack Baldwin closing down on goal and the youngster arrived perfectly to send a header past Simon Eastwood and into the back of the net for his second goal in as many games.
Pools enjoyed a more dominant spell after the goal, with James Pools sending a neat cross into the box that was just too far for the lively Wyke at the back post.
When Pompey did rediscover their stride, Sam Collins was ready with a brave block to deny Russell inside the area. Evan Horwood put in a decent tackle inside the box to snatch possession from Wallace in a dangerous position.
Simon Walton, who was solid in midfield this afternoon, sent a powerful strike swerving towards goal at the other end but Eastwood collected.
It was Pools who finished the half threatening the goal as Charlie Wyke pressed from a Simon Walton freekick but sent his effort wide under pressure from the defender.
John Hughes’ men took their 1-0 lead into the break but it took just seven minutes of the second period to double their advantage.
Just moments after seeing James Keene crash a powerful strike against the stanchion, Pools were back pushing forward.
A lovely ball forward by Neil Austin found James Poole running in on goal and the forward showed great calmness to hit it past Eastwood to make it 2-0.
Jonathan Franks played a square ball to Poole inside the area and the former Manchester City man took a strike looking to make it 3-0 but Eastwood denied him with a block.
With 67 minutes on the clock though, the pressure was back on Pools as the hosts pushed forward down the right.
And this time Portsmouth made their possession count, with Jed Wallace pushing into the area and firing a volley across Flinders’ goal and into the far corner of the net.
The atmosphere inside Fratton Park intensified after the goal as the home fans sensed a way back into the game, while on the pitch there was a real urgency from the home team.
Pools had to withstand a great deal of pressure as the hosts pushed on looking for an equaliser – leading to a very tense end to the game.
Charlie Wyke found himself offering Pools some respite with a good run forward but, instead of squaring for Luke James, the striker took the chance himself and was denied by Eastwood.
A cross/shot from Connolly from the right sailed through the area without contact only to scrape just narrowly wide of Flinders’ post.
It was Pools who grabbed the next goal though as Jonathan Franks sent Greg Rutherford away running on goal and the young striker showed composure to take the ball in his stride and send it past Eastwood to make it 3-1.
And so Hughes' men withstood the pressure to take all three points in their third victory of the campaign so far - something Pools will be looking to build on in the coming weeks.
Full Time: Portsmouth 1 Pools 3
Att: 10, 981 (204 Pools)
Booked: Walton (81)
Pools: Flinders, Austin, Collins, Hartley, Horwood, Walton, Baldwin (James 74), Humphreys, Franks, Wyke (Rutherford 90), Pools
Subs Not Used: McHugh, Holden, Rowbotham, Monkhouse, Luscombe
Portsmouth: Eastwood, Gyepes, Ertl (Moutaouakil 62), Keene, Russell, Reed (Sutherland 63), Connelly, Rocha, Butler, Wallace, Cooper (Harris 63)
Subs Not Used: Smith, Walker, Harris, Webster, Sodje, Sutherland, Moutaouakil