|Burton Albion 1 v 2 Portsmouth|
SkyBet League One
Friday, 19th April 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Clarke on the mark as Pompey late show leaves Brewers punch drunk
Friday, 19th Apr 2019 20:24 by pompey-fans.com staff
Kenny Jackett heaped praise on his players for coming through a difficult test at Burton to land another three points towards the promotion dream.
It was a vital win for the Blues on a day when Barnsley and Sunderland also did the business, but it was only achieved thanks to a late Matt Clarke strike.
Earlier Burton had cancelled out Ben Close's sweet first half strike and the Brewers had large spells of possession in both halves, with Jackett's men perhaps fortunate to come away with the three points.
Jackett told the club website afterwards: 'When I saw the ball land for Matt’s left foot, I was optimistic and he didn’t need asking twice to slot it home. It was a great moment for him right in front of our fans, who cheered us on throughout a difficult game.
'The win keeps us right in the hunt and it’s important that we maintain that pressure on second spot. At the moment it’s nip and tuck, but I’m pleased to say that we’re still very much in there with four matches to go.
'Congratulations to the players because we’ve got 83 points now, which is excellent, and our away record is up there with anyone in all four divisions. There’s not much between any of the teams up there, so we have to keep fighting and keep believing.'
It was Close, enjoying a great run of form in this half the season, not to mention some valuable goals, who put Pompey ahead on 31 minutes. His cross was headed out but only to Nathan Thompson, whose pass from the right fell back to Close just outside the area - and his sweetly hit right-foot shot flew into the top corner.
Burton levelled in the second minute of the second period when Liam Boyce headed in Colin Daniel's cross, and now Pompey had it all to do.
Pompey won it in controversial circumstances two minutes into stoppage time. Sub Ronan Curtis's teasing cross caused a scramble and Thompson got it back from the byline into the six-yard box where Clarke slammed it home - sparking joyous scenes among the 1000-plus Pompey fans behind the goal.
Pompey: MacGillivray; Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown; Close, Naylor, Evans (Curtis 77); Lowe, Hawkins (Bogle 61), Pitman (Morris 61). Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Haunstrup, Solomon-Otabor