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Pompey Double Downs Sky Blues
Portsmouth 2 Coventry City 0
Goals from Jed Wallace and Patrick Agyemang saw Pompey continue their good run of form thanks to a well earned 2-0 win over Coventry.
Simon Eastwood shone in what was arguably the best Portsmouth performance at Fratton Park this season. That was after a shaky start, however, as Shaun Cooper gave away a penalty after just six minutes.
Cooper, in for Dan Butler at left back, brought down Cody MacDonald after the striker burst in front of him and beat him to a ball he really should have cleared.
Up stepped Gary McSheffrey to take the spot kick but it was a poor effort and Eastwood dived to his right to save it and the defence managed to deal with the aftermath.
The visitors had dominated the first quarter of an hour or so but found themselves behind thanks to a neat one-two played between Cooper and Wallace, with the latter firing the ball past Joe Murphy.
The game became more of an even contest after that with Pompey's passing improving greatly and Coventry's defence had to be aware to clear dangerous crosses into the box.
The same could be said for the Pompey back four who were also working hard to preserve the lead as Cyrus Christie attempted a long range strike that sailed over the bar.
The second half saw the Coventry defender again try his luck and this time Eastwood was at full stretch to push the ball away for a corner.
Pompey should have doubled the lead when Wallace's cross was met by Liam Walker in the box. His shot was blocked and the loose ball fell for Johnny Ertl who blazed the ball over and into the Fratton End.
The blues defence were doing well to stop Coventry from really threatening but Eastwood was called into action twice when he saved Aaron Martin's drive and then tipped over Franck Moussa's follow-up.
However, he would have been relieved to see Callum Wilson's shot from outside the box fly narrowly wide in Coventry's best spell of the second half.
That would be as good as it got for Steven Pressley's men as Pompey doubled their lead when Walker's pinpoint cross was brilliantly directed into the top corner of the net by the head of Agyemang.
From then on it looked like Pompey would extend their lead. David Connolly had his effort cleared off the line whilst Agyemang had a chance to run through on goal but his lack of pace saw him caught up, although he did create another chance for his strike partner rather than lose the ball.
There were other "nearly" moments as the Pompey players enjoyed themselves whilst Coventry's afternoon was summed up when Eastwood stopped the ball on the line from a goalmouth scramble that looked certain to result in a goal for the visitors.
But it wasn't to be and Pompey recorded another victory to lift the team up to a lofty 22nd in League One after Hartlepool were held at home by Walsall and Bury were thrashed at Bournemouth.
It was a well deserved victory too and this team continues to impress with its workrate and ability to play as a unit where passes find each other rather than the touchline or the opposition.
There were times when Pompey were under the cosh in this game and six weeks ago the defence would have crumbled but recently they have been far more organised and Eastwood has come such a long way since his early days where he'd make at least one glaring error in a game.
I personally enjoy watching this team far more than the mish-mash of mercenaries assembled by Michael Appleton last summer. It's just a shame that we didn't have this team at the start of the campaign because we certainly wouldn't be talking about relegation if we had.
Still, these players deserve our support and if they do keep winning then who knows? Maybe the team will do well enough to survive on merit and therefore begin next season in League Two without a points deduction.
Pompey Player Ratings
Simon Eastwood: 9 - Saved everything.
Yassin Moutaouakil: 7 - Impressive all round display.
Ricardo Rocha: 7 - Excellent covering play.
Gabor Gyepes: 7 - Commanding performance.
Shaun Cooper: 5 - Sloppy and looked uncomfortable at left back.
Liam Walker: 7 - Lovely cross for the second goal and worked very hard defensively.
Johnny Ertl: 7 - Kept things going.
Therry Racon: 6 - Solid showing.
Jed Wallace: 8 - Keeps improving all the time.
Patrick Agyemang: 8 - Great header and held the ball up well.
David Connolly: 6 - Should have scored.
Jack Maloney (Walker 90): N/A - Made one good run into the box.
John Akinde (Agyemang 90): N/A - Probably brought on just so "Big Pat" could get the reception he deserved.
Source: Fratton Faithful
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