Pompey down Crewe to extend unbeaten league run

Wes Thomas heads Pompey into an early lead against Crewe
Wes Thomas heads Pompey into an early lead against Crewe
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A dominant first-half display saw Pompey brush aside Crewe at Fratton Park with a 2-0 win.

Wes Thomas’ early strike and Izale McLeod’s penalty got the job done and made it four unbeaten League One games for Michael Appleton’s side.

That lifted them to 12th in the table on what could be a seminal weekend for the the Blues.

That follows strong talk that Balram Chainrai’s Portpin are unlikely to be okayed to return to the club by the Football League.

That would put Pompey Supporter’s Trust in pole position to assume control, although more twists and turns are expected in the saga yet.

Boss Michael Appleton sprung a surprise or two in his team selection, utilising Lee Williamson in a right-back role with Jon Harley in front of him.

Akos Buzsaky was handed his first full league start on the left of a 4-4-2 formation.

The approach reaped instant dividends with Pompey making the breakthrough after just 82 seconds.

It was Harley who was the architect, as he pitched the ball up to the back post for Thomas to head home.

The one-way traffic continued with Thomas twice going close before Pompey doubled their advantage.

Andy Bond was the man who left a leg out for Thomas to go over in the 17th minute - and McLeod made no mistake as he thumped home an unstoppable effort.

There were further chances for Pompey to add to their advantage before the break, with Bond almost turning in McLeod’s cross.

Thomas then shot on the turn with Brian Howard missing the follow up, before McLeod’s angled drive was kept out by the busy Alan Martin.

Crewe started the second-half with greater urgency and carved out a couple of chances.

The best of those fell to sub Byron Moore, who cut into the Pompey box and had time and space - but could only shoot straight at Mikkel Andersen.

The Fratton faithful did all they could to lift their side as the majority of a crowd of 11,829 upped the volume.

Harley responded by whipping in a deep cross which was a whisker away from finding McLeod at the back post.

It was a much more even affair, however, and Aneke forced Andersen into another stop with a 30-yard drive.

But Pompey’s defence was in resilient mood and stood strong for just their second clean sheet of the season and another league success.

League One

Pompey 2 (Thomas 2, McLeod pen 18)

Crewe 0

POMPEY: Andersen, Harley, Gyepes, Ertl, Michalik, Webster, Williamson, Howard, Buzsaky (Compton 75), McLeod (Rodgers 87), Thomas. Subs: Eastwood, J Thompson, Walker, Obita, Harris.

CREWE: Martin, Tootle, Davis, Ellis, Murphy, Mellor, Aneke, Bond, M Clayton, Pogba, Leitch-Smith (Moore 30). Subs: Garratt, Dugdale, Turton, Robertson, Guthrie, Moore, Daniels.

ATT: 11,829