Battling Portsmouth fight back again for Wigan Athletic win as season continues to accelerate

Paddy Lane celebrates his goal at Wigan today for Pompey. Pic: Jason Brown.
Paddy Lane celebrates his goal at Wigan today for Pompey. Pic: Jason Brown.

It was Paddy Lane and Regan Poole who were the goal heroes for the second week on the bounce, as they cancelled out Martial Godo’s opener.

That stretched the record unbeaten run to 21 league games and kept John Mousinho’s side top of the table - while opening a four-point gap on Stevenage in third place.

Wigan were indignant about referee Will Finnie’s performance, with Charlie Wyke sent off three minutes after the restart and strong appeals for a penalty for a Marlon Pack handball.

Pompey’s habit of battling back from adversity was once again evident, and at times in the first half looked a major threat as they went through the gears.

It was a case of seeing things out for most of the second half, however, with Mousinho’s men largely comfortable in doing so.

Out of an even opening at the DW Stadium, it was the home side who snared the lead in the 27th minute.

Joe Morrell had seen his 20 yarder deflected over with Scott Smith hitting a clear opening over the top before Godo made the breakthrough.

The Fulham loanee has already scored ogainst Pompey in the EFL Trophy this season and did likewise, as he angled an effort past Will Norris with Joe Rafferty standing off the winger.

As so often this season, Mousinho’s side replied impressively as Jack Sparkes’ excellent corner was met by Conor Shaughnessy in the 31st minute and Poole helping the ball beyond Sam Tickle.

Pompey then took the lead eight minutes before the break, as Rafferty met Marlon Pack’s raking ball and Alex Robertson superbly teed up Lane, to apply the half-volley finish.

There was drama three minutes after restart as Wigan were reduced to 10 men as Wyke went in on Pack with a scissor tackle, prompting ref Will Finnie to produce a red card.

There was anger on the home bench at the decision with coach Graham Barrow and Pompey’s Jon Harley booked.

Sub Gavin Whyte had a golden chance to settle the game with 18 minutes left. A lovely chance opened up space in the box but the winger went for the near post instead of firing across Sam Tickle and the keeper saved.

Sub Josh Magennis then planted a presentable opening wide with his head from Callum McManaman’s cross.

The lively Alex Robertson went close to a third with six minutes left, as he cracked a 20 yarder which Sam Tickle turned around the post with a full-length dive to his right.

Pompey then had to see out the win through seven minutes of stoppage time, which they were able to do comfortably for another big win on the road.