Ollie Hawkins hailed by Pompey assistant Kevin Gallen


Portsmouth's assistant manager Kevin Gallen hailed Ollie Hawkins after he scored twice in their 3-1 win over Northampton at Fratton Park

The victory for the home side will see them start 2018 in the play-off places after an impressive run of eight wins in their last 10 games.

And Gallen was quick to praise the impact of Hawkins, who bagged both goals with his head.

Gallen said: “I’m very pleased with the attacking performance. Three hasn’t done us justice today, we could have scored more.

“They were excellent headed goals from Hawkins.

“I can’t say we have worked on him heading it in from where he did but it was a fantastic header.

“We were thinking he might take it on his chest but he did exactly what he wanted to do with it and put it in the bottom corner.

“He bullied their full-back on the back stick, which we know he is capable of doing.

“He has come back into the team and scored two great headers.”

Hawkins could have given Pompey an early lead after he was slipped in on goal by Brett Pitman but his effort was saved by goalkeeper Matt Ingram.

Northampton then took the lead through Chris Long in the 36th minute when he was played in by Lewis McGugan before calmly slipping the ball past Pompey keeper Luke McGee.

But the home side pegged the Cobblers back moments later through Matty Kennedy when he lashed his shot into the bottom corner after cutting in from the left wing.

And Pompey found themselves in front on the stroke of half-time when Hawkins produced an excellent looping header to beat Ingram.

The big centre-forward then wrapped the game up for Kenny Jackett’s team when he arrived at the back post to nod home Dion Donohue’s cross.

Northampton manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink lamented referee Lee Swabey’s performance as his side slumped to their sixth away defeat in a row.

And Hasselbaink said: “I think we started really well, we had more of the game.

“We dominated in midfield and then we scored a brilliant goal which is what we have been working on.

“But then the referee lost a little bit of the game. We didn’t get the free-kicks that we needed to get and they scored.

“The second goal was a freak goal which was well taken by the boy and then we were up against it.

“It didn’t help how the referee played today, I think he spoiled the game.

“He was very inconsistent and I don’t want to make it about the referee but psychologically it is a hard one for us to take.”