Gary Roberts sends Pompey on their way to victory over promotion rivals Carlisle
Portsmouth narrowed the gap between themselves and promotion rivals Carlisle to three points after second-half goals by Gary Roberts, Amine Linganzi and substitute Jack Whatmough earned them a 3-0 win at Brunton Park.
It was a close contest until Pompey finally found the target through a solo goal by Roberts, with late strikes by Linganzi and Whatmough ended any hopes injury hit Carlisle had of salvaging something from the game.
A hectic opening spell saw both sides test the opposition keeper. Pompey's Carl Baker had Mark Gillespie at full stretch to parry a 20-yard effort then, at the other end, Jamie Proctor played Nicky Adams in with an inch perfect pass and David Forde had to be alert to claw away the winger's left-foot blast from a tight angle.
Portsmouth were relieved when the referee played on after Tom Miller, an early Carlisle substitute for the injured Shaun Brisley, burst in from the right to hit a powerful drive which brought a big appeal for hand ball.
Carlisle lost a second central defender to injury in the 36th minute when skipper Michael Raynes was forced off and, with the home side still re-organising, Pompey's Eoin Doyle passed up a gilt edged opportunity on the stroke of half-time when he snatched at his shot two yards out and scooped the ball over the bar.
It was Carlisle's turn to miss a clear chance in the 56th minute when Proctor got on the end of Luke Joyce's dinked cross but directed his downward header wide from close range.
Portsmouth took the lead in the 73rd minute with a fine individual effort by Roberts who ran at the heart of the defence before producing a deft finish with the outside of his left foot from 18 yards which found the top left-hand corner.
Linganzi clinched it for Portsmouth in the 86th minute when he drove a powerful low 20-yard shot past Gillespie and Whatmough's injury-time goal, driving in from the right side of the penalty area, rubbed salt in the home side's wounds.