Portsmouth cemented their position in the automatic places of League Two last night following a convincing four nil victory over travelling Grimsby Town.
In a good-humoured yet noisy atmosphere, the home side scored three first half goals to all but secure the three points before the teams had even gone for a break.
The end-to-end start to the game brought promise for an entertaining game to the 16,500 fans who came to support their in-form side.
Grimsby however came closest following Zak Mills’ drive which deflected off the Pompey defence and smashed against the post going wide for a corner.
Again The Mariners came close with Asante’s curling effort towards the top corner tipped wide by ‘keeper David Forde.
Pompey however took full advantage of the counter attack off the corner, and Kyle Bennett’s effort cruelly deflected off the Grimsby defence and over the goalkeeper to give the home side the lead.
Blues winger Kal Naismith then grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck by sending multiple crosses into the box with no avail, only for the home side to then double their advantage.
Danny Rose replicated the first goal by having his left footed drive deflected up and over the helpless James McKeown to give Pompey a two nil lead just past the half-hour mark.
Shortly afterwards, goal scorer Bennett was force off the pitch with what seemed to be a hamstring injury, replaced by Gary Roberts.
Just shy of half time, as the atmosphere around Fratton Park becomes deafeningly loud, the home side rewarded their fans support with a third goal on the scoresheet.
Midfielder Carl Baker was found at the near post by Gareth Evans, who then stabbed the ball into the top corner of the inside post.
Home supporters went into half time chanting “We are going up” repeatedly whilst also taunting Grimsby’s 527 followers “you might as well go home”.
It was another entertaining start after the interval, as Portsmouth made it four nil within seconds through Kal Naismith’s tap in after Kyle Bakers’ long range effort was spilled by the Grimsby ‘keeper.
Grimsby who were starting to fend off their attack on goal made two quick substitutions bringing off midfielders Sam Jones and Jamey Osborne for Craig Disley and Brandon Comley.
A period of passing play ensued between both sides, until scorer Naismith sat down towards the touch line clutching his hamstring, soon to be replaced by Jamal Lowe.
The forced substitution didn’t ease off the home side’s constant threat, and they continued to press on the Grimsby goal.
Pompey eased down proceedings by bringing on local lad Conor Chaplin for forward Eoin Doyle.
With one last volley at goal by Captain Michael Doyle, the final whistle sounded to confirm the home side’s position in League Two, and also catch up on 2nd place Plymouth Argyle who dropped two points in their fixture.
Portsmouth now await their crunch match this Saturday away to Stevenage, looking to take a huge step to promotion.
Pompey Team: David Forde (GK), Enda Stevens, Danny Rose, Matt Clarke, Christian Burgess, Carl Baker, Michael Doyle (C), Eoin Doyle (Conor Chaplin), Kal Naismith (Jamal Lowe), Kyle Bennett (Gary Roberts), Gareth Evans
Grimsby Town Team: James McKeown (GK), Ben Davies, Danny Andrew, Shaun Pearson (C), Zak Mills, Scott Vernon, Danny Collins, Jamey Osborne (Brandon Comley), Akwasi Asante (Adi Yussuf), Luke Maxwell, Sam Jones (Craig Disley)