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Pompey stroll to victory that's enough to madden the Hatters
Tuesday, 22nd Nov 2016 22:38 by pompey-fans.com staff

Goals from Michael Smith, Gareth Evans and sub Kal Naismith gave Pompey their best result of the season so far as they got the better of Luton to leapfrog them and claim fourth place.

The Blues overcame the early setback of Danny Hylton's headed opener and were level within four minutes - before going on to control the game and run out fairly comfortable winners.

With Smith replacing the banned Conor Chaplin up front in Pompey's only change, Paul Cook's troops went behind in controversial circumstances after seven minutes.

Evans appeared to be fouled and was on the ground when Allan Sheehan crossed for Hylton to head in. But Pompey didn't stew about it, instead coming straight back at the Hatters, and they were level on 11 minutes.

Smith was the scorer - for the second game in four days - as he converted from 18 yards after Carl Baker was tackled in a neat Blues build-up.

In an absorbing first half both sides went close to taking a 2-1 lead before Pompey just did that in injury time before the break, Evans firing in after Luton failed to deal with a Gary Roberts corner. It was fine reward for Roberts, who'd had an influential first half.

Kyle Bennett and Roberts each went close to giving Pompey a 3-1 lead - then Christian Burgess and Evans both went even closer with headers. Burgess's came back off the bar and Evans didn't get enough on his attempt to glance in No3.

The Hatters had their moments - one goalbound effort was cleared off the line by Matt Clarke - but this was no tale of Pompey having to withstand sustained pressure, and the Blues wrapped up a vital victory on 83 minutes when Naismith ran at a retreating defence before firing low past the keeper from an angle on the edge of the area.

The noisy travelling fans loved it and Pompey were able to celebrate their third league win in four, and their third away win in four. Can they keep up the momentum at home to Stevenage on Saturday?

They go into that game in fourth spot and just two points behind third-placed Doncaster.

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