Portsmouth 2 Hull 0

npower Championship at Fratton Park.

Last Updated: 27/03/12 at 23:09 Post Comment

Portsmouth celebrate their win

Portsmouth celebrate their win

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Portsmouth moved off the bottom of the npower Championship as they made it back-to-back home wins with a deserved victory over play-off chasing Hull.

Michael Appleton's side cashed in on their first-half dominance with two goals in four minutes from Chris Maguire and Joel Ward.

The opener was Maguire's second strike since moving to Fratton Park on loan from Derby and the 23-year-old forward was a thorn in Hull's side all evening.

The Tigers remain two points outside the play-off places but boss Nick Barmby will be worried that a third consecutive defeat represents an untimely slump at a crucial stage of the season.

Pompey are three points from safety and Doncaster replace them at the foot of the table after they could only draw 1-1 at Crystal Palace.

On-loan Manchester City defender Karim Rekik started his first senior game in defence for Portsmouth, with Ricardo Rocha dropping to the bench.

Corry Evans and Tom Cairney made way in the Hull XI for Joe Dudgeon and Robbie Brady.

The hosts started brightly and Luke Varney had an early penalty appeal waved away by referee Darren Sheldrake after he cut in from the left and went down under a challenge from Tigers centre-back Jack Hobbs.

Tal Ben Haim sent a speculative effort wide, Ward dragged past the post and Varney agonisingly failed to make contact with a fizzing Maguire cross, but Portsmouth's pressure told in the 21st minute.

A measured pass from Scott Allan found Maguire, who raced into space and lobbed stranded Hull goalkeeper Vito Mannone from a tight angle.

Mannone got down well to keep out a rasping Maguire effort moments later before he was forced to pick the ball out of his net for the second time in four minutes.

Maguire was the provider this time as his low centre caused panic in the Hull box. George Thorn took control and cut back from Ward to sidefoot home.

Barmby's side almost reduced the arrears immediately as top scorer Matty Fryatt capitalised on an error from Rekik to bring a splendid save from Jamie Ashdown.

Portsmouth were quick to regain the ascendancy and Maguire drilled a free-kick narrowly over after Andy Dawson was yellow carded for upending Varney on the edge of the box nine minutes before half-time.

Dawson was withdrawn at the interval along with Evans as Barmby sent on Evans and Aaron Mclean in a bid to revitalise his side's fortunes.

Hull displayed a good deal more intent as the second period got underway, but their attacks remained largely disjointed.

By contrast, David Norris, Ward and Maguire all went close in a flurry of Pompey pressure around the hour.

Mannone stopped Maguire doubling his personal tally once more in the 69th minute when he clawed a 25-yard drive out of the bottom corner.

At the other end Brady curled a free-kick narrowly past the post, but Hull's late rally failed to materialise.

Portsmouth substitute Kelvin Etuhu almost added gloss to the scoreline when Maguire released him on the counter-attack, only for Hobbs to get back well and produce a last-ditch block.

Teams

Portsmouth Ashdown, Halford, Ben-Haim, Pearce, Rekik, Thorne, Allan (Etuhu 75), Norris, Ward, Maguire, Varney (Futacs 88).

Subs Not Used: Rocha, Harris, Scapuzzi.

Booked: Rekik.

Goals: Maguire 21, Ward 25.

Hull Mannone, Rosenior, Chester, Hobbs, Dawson (Evans 46), King (Simpson 54), Brady, McKenna, Dudgeon, Stewart, Fryatt (Mclean 46).

Subs Not Used: Gulacsi, Cullen.

Booked: Dawson, Hobbs, Rosenior.

Att: 14, 751

Ref: Darren Sheldrake (Surrey).

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