|Portsmouth||2 – 0||Blackpool|
Evans and Doyle fire Blues to victory
Goals from Gareth Evans and Eoin Doyle ensured Pompey beat Blackpool to record a second successive victory.
They totally dominated the first half and probably deserved to lead by more than Evans’ clinical finish.
It was a tighter affair after the break, however, and there were a few nervy moments before the hard-working Doyle opened his account deep into stoppage-time to secure another three-point haul.
Paul Cook stuck with the same side that had beaten Accrington at the same venue less than four days earlier.
And he was rewarded with a bright start for the Blues, who looked to attack their mid-table opponents from the off.
They almost broke the deadlock after just five minutes, only for Gary Roberts to turn Eoin Doyle’s cut-back against the crossbar.
And Roberts then combined well with Kyle Bennett, but the former’s pass was cut-out before it could reach Pompey’s lone striker.
Eoin Doyle did connect with a cross – again from Roberts – moments later and sent a header flying just past the post.
The hosts’ attacking quartet were linking up extremely well, while the impressive Amine Linganzi saw a shot saved by Blackpool keeper Sam Slocombe.
There was not too much happening at the other end, although David Forde was at his commanding best to claim a couple of dangerous balls into the box.
The keeper then had to get down low to his right to push a drive from Kyle Vassell behind for a corner.
But it was the Blues who looked the more threatening side throughout the first half and they deservedly took the lead on 27 minutes.
Enda Stevens’ delivery from the left was missed by Linganzi, but fell for EVANS to lash into the roof of the net.
The advantage was almost doubled a few moments later, with Roberts not quite able to guide a cross on target with his head.
And Eoin Doyle was then inches away from connecting with a superb low cross from Evans that dissected the visitors’ defence.
It was the Irishman who might have added another goal just before the break, but he fired over after Roberts had brilliantly cushioned a long ball forward.
Half Time: Pompey 1 Blackpool 0
Pompey continued to push forward following the interval and Slocombe was just able to beat Eoin Doyle to Matt Clarke’s long pass.
The visitors did start to have more of an impact as the second half progressed and one corner led to a scramble in the Blues box before Evans eventually hacked clear.
Chances were certainly harder to find since the restart, though, and one acrobatic effort from Christian Burgess flew high over the bar.
Cook made his first change on 68 minutes and it was like for like, as Jamal Lowe made way for Carl Baker.
Blackpool then carved out an excellent opening when Jordan Flores’ low cross found Brad Potts at the far post.
It looked like the midfielder would draw the visitors level, but Stevens launched himself at the ball to make a brilliant block.
Evans had received treatment for a shoulder injury earlier in the half and had to be withdrawn on 75 minutes, with Kal Naismith taking his place at right-back.
Pompey then had a chance to strengthen their lead following a quick break, but Baker was dispossessed before he could shoot.
Jack Whatmough came on for Bennett in the Blues’ final change late on, although for the second game in a row the fourth official initially displayed the wrong number.
And Blackpool then went close to levelling from a corner, but Tom Aldred’s bullet header flew narrowly wide.
The atmosphere understandably grew tenser as the seconds ticked down and Blackpool delivered more crosses into the box.
But with the Seasiders committing men forward, the hosts took advantage to make sure of all three points.
Eoin DOYLE did well to hold off a couple of challenges and find Baker, before collecting the return pass and slotting home his first goal for the club.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Forde; Evans (Naismith 75), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Linganzi, M.Doyle (c); Lowe (Baker 68), Roberts, Bennett (Whatmough 83); E.Doyle
Goals: Evans 27, E.Doyle 90+5
Booked: Burgess, Roberts, Bennett
Subs not used: O’Brien, Rose, Chaplin, Hunt
Blackpool (3-5-2): Slocombe; Aimson, Aldred (c), Robertson; Mellor, Potts (Osayi-Samuel 81), Payne (Matt 81), Flores, Daniel; Delfouneso, Vassell (Odelusi 81)
Subs not used: Lyness, Nolan, Gnanduillet, Cullen
Referee: Darren Deadman
Attendance: 15,132 (216 away fans)