Danny Cowley believes Lee Brown’s performance was “reminiscent of Roberto Carlos” as Portsmouth kept their play-off hopes on track with a 3-1 win at AFC Wimbledon.
Left-back Brown had only previously netted once in his Pompey career but grabbed a double in first-half injury-time, firing into the bottom corner on an overlap before crashing a shot in off the underside of the bar with the outside of his foot.
That came after Ronan Curtis converted Marcus Harness’ cross at the back post to cancel out Joe Pigott’s opener for the Dons and ensured Pompey’s play-off destiny is in their own hands heading into the final day.
“Lee Brown scored two goals that were reminiscent of Roberto Carlos,” beamed Portsmouth boss Cowley. “It was an important win and I thought there were some really good aspects to our play.
“I thought we had a difficult way into the game, credit to Wimbledon – I thought they played with a huge amount of energy and aggression on the press.
“We wanted to play the first 10-15 minutes in their half, we didn’t quite achieve that and there were a couple of tactical issues. Credit to the group because we were able to stay in the game and we were able to resolve that.
“A great response [to going 1-0 down], a fantastic goal, brilliant play by Callum Johnson and Marcus Harness down the right and a great finish from Ronan Curtis.
“That gave us the momentum and confidence to push on and we played some really good football from there on in.”
Victory over Accrington on the final day will rubber-stamp Portsmouth’s play-off place, while results elsewhere on Saturday confirmed Wimbledon’s status in Sky Bet League One despite the defeat.
And while he was highly critical of the performance on the day, Dons manager Mark Robinson was pleased to at least have survival secured.
“Staying up is really important for the fans and the club. That was what I got asked to do, as well as start building cultures and work environments, and I’m pleased that we’ve done that,” said Robinson.
“It was just really disappointing that we couldn’t do it in a better manner and having to rely on other results, which certainly wasn’t the plan.
“It’s complete disappointment with the performance because in the 19 games we’ve been together, even the games we’ve lost, we saw progress in every game. I don’t know where this performance has come from.
“The first 20-25 minutes, I thought we were very good, had good chances and got the goal. Then obviously they were going to step it up and we were poor from there on in.
“Teams like Portsmouth are the benchmark, and we have to look at each other and ask what that last 60 minutes was about.”