POMPEY WON’T GIVE UP CHASE
PORTSMOUTH boss Andy Awford is not throwing in the towel on his side’s play-off push after beating Luton Town at Fratton Park.
The hosts made it four wins from five to move just eight points off the top seven, with goals from Matt Tubbs and Ryan Taylor.
Awford said: “We were very clinical when we needed to be – both finishes were good finishes. Professional, disciplined and clinical are three words I would use.
“That’s seven clean sheets in ten now.You don’t lose football matches if you don’t concede goals.
“It’s not just down to the goalkeeper and the back three; it’s down to the whole team. The whole team defend as a unit.
“When you have the threat we have at the other end of the pitch, it gives you a chance when you don’t concede goals.
“We’ll try and win Tuesday and we’ll try and win Saturday. We’ll get as many points as we can between now and the end of the season. Wherever that takes us, it takes us.
“At the moment I’m delighted with our current form and the string of results we have had.”
The hosts were ahead in just the fifth minute when League Two player of the month Jed Wallace sent over an inviting cross and Tubbs flicked a delightful finish beyond Elliot Justham.
Tubbs was denied a second by Steve McNulty’s interception, as Luton came close to a leveller on 19 minutes and Cameron McGeehan fired wastefully over from ten yards.
In the second period, Town piled on the pressure, but Pompey came closest to scoring, Wallace’s low effort cannoning against the base of the post.
Awford’s side then had a killer second on 61 minutes, as a cross reached Tubbs and although he missed his kick, Taylor slammed home the rebound.
The Hatters never really looked capable of a consolation, although in the final moments, Luke Wilkinson met Luke Guttridge’s corner to beat Jones, but not the covering Dan Butler stationed on the line.
Despite suffering a fifth defeat in six games to lose more ground on the top three, Luton boss John Still felt his side showed signs of recovery.
He said: “We conceded a poor goal but after that I thought we were the best team. It’s the best we’ve played which is really pleasing and we seem to have found a bit of form.
“I thought we played very, very well, had two or three off the line, created opportunities, our pressure was good, but we got beat, so I have to put that into perspective.
“We’ve lost some games lately when we’ve been disappointed and I was disappointed to lose, but I thought our performance was like a Luton performance.
“We’ve got to produce that every week between now and the end of the season.
“We can’t make the errors so early in the game and you end up chasing from early on. “It’s really, really difficult, the response from it was fantastic, but you can’t concede from early in a game of that nature.”
STAR MAN JED WALLA
outh TAYLOR-MADE: Ryan Taylor puts daylight between Pompey and Luton with a second goal
LIFT OFF: Matt Tubbs fires the hosts into an early lead