Kenny Jackett hails penalty-taker Brett Pitman after beating AFC Wimbledon


Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett hailed Brett Pitman after he fired his side to a 2-1 victory over AFC Wimbledon from the penalty spot.

Pitman, 29, bagged his 13th goal of the season to keep Pompey in the hunt for the play-off places as they chase consecutive promotions.

Ben Close added the home’s first on the stroke of half-time before they were pegged back by Lyle Taylor’s spot-kick.

And Jackett was quick to praise Pitman after his 72nd minute winner, saying: “His confidence was high to go again and it’s nice.

“I’d back Brett on the penalties and free kicks as they are key to his game.

“I’ve been disappointed recently with his strikes from outside the box but he got the key goal today and he is our top scorer.

“We need to get him in the game and give him the chances. It is something we want to do and it is something that we work on.

“I’ve been disappointed recently with his strikes from outside the box but he got the key goal today and he is our top scorer.

“But, after missing one at Charlton, he got a vital one today.”

Pompey took the lead through Close in the 45th minute when he placed his effort into the bottom corner from outside the area.

But the Dons pegged them back in the 50th minute when referee Craig Hicks awarded a penalty after Christian Burgess handled the ball in the area.

And Taylor made no mistake when he stepped up, as he smashed his shot into the roof of the net.

Pitman was then shoved in the back when a cross came in and Hicks pointed to the spot for the second time.

The former Bournemouth striker then kept his cool to send AFC Wimbledon goalkeeper George Long the wrong way in the 72nd minute and fire his to another win.

The Dons’ manager Neal Ardley was left fuming with his side’s lack of discipline.

Ardley said: “As soon as I saw it I knew it was a penalty. I can’t blame the ref, it was a penalty. I’m more annoyed with my players.

“We were 1-1 away from home on Boxing Day against Portsmouth, a team that have got some decent players.

“But it is a lack of discipline. We lacked discipline at Wigan where we went from playing a good game to being down to 10-men and losing 4-0.

“And we have lacked discipline again today, it wasn’t good enough. We have handed them three points today.

“You can see why Portsmouth are on the verge of the play-offs as they limit what they give you and they’ll pounce on everything that you do wrong.”