|King's Lynn Town||1|
The television cameras had arrived on the south coast hoping to capture an upset, only for Rasmus Nicolaisen to open the scoring in just the second minute.
A stunning strike from Tom Naylor increased the lead and there were chances for it to be extended in the first half.
But the Blues got the job done after the interval, with Sean Raggett and Marcus Harness getting in on the act.
Dayle Southwell came off the bench to reduce the National League side’s deficit, but that was a rare bright spot for them.
Ellis Harrison soon increased their misery by scoring from the spot and Jordy Hiwula added an impressive sixth goal late on.
Kenny Jackett made five changes from the side that drew with Oxford in the league earlier in the week.
Three of them came at the back, where Alex Bass was preferred between the sticks, and Cam Pring and Nicolaisen also returned.
Ben Close and Ryan Williams were handed starts, with Craig MacGillivray, Lee Brown, Jack Whatmough, Andy Cannon and John Marquis all dropping to the bench.
There was a minute’s silence ahead of kick-off in memory of all those who have passed away during these tough times.
That includes footballing greats Diego Maradona and Ray Clemence, as well as former Pompey players Ray Hiron, Fred Smith, John Collins, Alan Garner, Malcolm Manley and Cyril Rutter
When the action started, fears of a giant-killing were quickly soothed, as Pompey took the lead after just 108 seconds.
Williams won a corner on the right and Pring swung the ball into the box for NICOLAISEN to head home his first goal for the club.
The visitors did not look over-awed in the opening stages, however, and Sonny Carey glanced a flag-kick narrowly wide.
Bass was then called into action and got down to his right to push away a cleanly-struck effort from Adam Marriott.
But the Blues soon began to take control and started to play some neat passing football to trouble the opposition defence.
And the pressure paid off on 30 minutes, as the skipper continued his run of fine goalscoring form to double the advantage.
It was a superb strike, with Ronan Curtis’ delivery laid off by Williams for NAYLOR to hit a 25-yard rocket that flew in off the underside of the crossbar.
The floodgates might have opened after that, as the hosts unleashed a deluge of pressure, with the Linnets hanging on as the interval approached.
Harrison – who was being held by Rory McAuley – saw his header saved by Archie Mair after a Close effort had been blocked.
There was then an almighty scramble in the King’s Lynn box, with Raggett and Williams unable to force the ball home, while a defender flung himself in the path of Nicolaisen’s effort.
And Curtis was inches away from getting his name on the scoresheet when he intercepted a loose ball and hit a fine 30-yard strike that rattled the bar.
King’s Lynn Town 0
The second half began at the same frantic pace as the first, with a perfectly-timed Kyle Callan-McFadden challenge stopping Close from racing clear.
But the hosts did increase their lead on 51 minutes, when RAGGETT charged towards the far post to firmly convert a Curtis corner.
King’s Lynn were still posing a threat going forward, but whenever their moves broke down, Pompey would break with menace.
And they soon had a fourth, as Harrison stole possession in the middle of the pitch and burst forward.
The striker then laid the ball off for HARNESS, who calmly slipped it into the bottom corner to kill any lingering hopes of a Linnets comeback.
Hiwula and Bryn Morris were both brought on, as Jackett gave Curtis and Naylor the chance to rest any tired limbs ahead of a midweek trip to Blackpool.
But the visitors reduced their deficit when McAuley held the ball up for Southwell to slot neatly into the net.
It was a brief reprieve for King’s Lynn, however, and Pompey had the chance to grab a fifth goal when Pring was fouled in the area by Ross Barrows.
Referee Will Finnie made the simple decision to point to the spot and HARRISON sent Mair the wrong way.
That was not the end of the action, though, and HIWULA opened his Blues account in impressive fashion, cutting inside from the left and curling home a fine strike.
Harness came close to wrapping things up in style following good work by Williams, but Mair was equal to his strike.
And Bass also kept his concentration at the other end, doing well to stop Southwell’s effort flying inside his near post.
But the contest almost finished the same way it had started – with a Nicolaisen goal. The defender nodded a Harness free-kick against the post seconds before the final whistle blew.
Pompey (4-4-2): Bass; Johnson, Raggett, Nicolaisen, Pring; Williams, Close, Naylor (c) (Morris 66), Curtis (Hiwula 59); Harrison (Marquis 81), Harness
Goals: Nicolaisen 2, Naylor 30, Raggett 51, Harness 58, Harrison 72 (pen), Hiwula 80
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Whatmough, Brown, Cannon
King’s Lynn (3-4-3): Mair; Callan-McFadden, Smith, McAuley; Barrows, Clunan (c), Carey, Brown; Power (Gash 81), Marriott (Southwell 63), Loza (King 63)
Goals: Southwell 68
Subs not used: Fleming, Richards, Jarvis
Referee: Will Finnie