Pompey smash four past Brum to breathe fresh life into survival bid

Birmingham's Keith Fahey in action against Pompey's Luke Varney
Birmingham's Keith Fahey in action against Pompey's Luke Varney

Pompey hit back in stunning style to thrash Birmingham 4-1 at Fratton Park and spark dreams of another fantastic Great Escape.

After going in at the break a goal down, Michael Appleton’s men turned on the style in the second half with goals from Chris Maguire, David Norris, Kelvin Etuhu and Marko Futacs.

The Blues had fallen behind on just eight minutes when giant Birmingham forward Nikola Zigic easily escaped Ricardo Rocha and buried his shot low into the net.

The best first-half chance for an equaliser was agonisingly missed on 36 minutes. David Norris played in Luke Varney on the left channel. His low cross somehow evaded the desperate lunge of Maguire at the back post.

Marlon King was denied by Jamie Ashdown on 52 minutes and the equaliser arrived immediately after. Scott Allan touched a free-kick to Maguire on the left and he thundered a low shot home through a crowd of players, via a deflection.

David Murphy was sent off in the 59th minute and Norris shot Pompey ahead a minute later, with a cracking turn in the box and low drive into the net.

Pompey hit the third on 77 minutes as Maguire’s fantastic pass was finished off in spectacular fashion by Etuhu.

And it was 4-1 on 92 minutes. Greg Halford galloped forward on the right and crossed for substitute Futacs to sweep home in style at the near post.

The win moves Pompey to within five points of fourth-from-bottom Bristol City, with the Blues having a game in hand over the Robins.

Pompey fans will hope for more of the same on Saturday as hope grows of a dramatic Championship survival charge.