Crawley manager Richie Barker hailed another landmark victory for the Red Devils after they triumphed 2-1 at Portsmouth.

Pompey went ahead courtesy of Paul Benson after 10 minutes but the visitors hit back with a Mat Sadler free-kick just before the half-hour mark. Billy Clarke scored the winning goal after 73 minutes before the visitors got men behind the ball and coolly closed out the game.

The result leaves Barker's side eighth in npower League One and just a point short of the play-off places. He said: "For Crawley to go away and beat Portsmouth in a league game on Boxing Day just shows how far we've come."

He added: "It was really deserved as well. I thought the lads were fantastic from start to finish, including the subs that came on. We played some excellent football in some very difficult conditions.

"Four years ago on Boxing Day 2008, the team drew 0-0 away at Woking (in the Blue Square Premier League). If you had told us four years ago that we'd come to Portsmouth in front of 13,000 people and beat them 2-1, it would have been amazing. It speaks volumes about what we've done."

Barker claimed a share of the credit for Sadler's equaliser after calling on his left-back to take the free-kick instead of Nicky Adams. He said: "Usually Nicky would have taken that. But I just looked at it and thought 'I don't think they'll fancy an inswinger here'.

"So I shouted for Sads to go over and take it. If I'm honest, I wasn't meaning for him to score. I was meaning for him to swing it in and make it difficult to defend. But I'm pleased for him."

Portsmouth have now gone 11 matches without a win, and Benson's goal saw them lead at Fratton Park for the first time since they beat Shrewsbury 3-1 on October 20. With results and events off the pitch conspiring against administration-stricken Pompey, manager Guy Whittingham says he is doing his best to keep his players' heads up.

He said: "You've just got to keep telling the boys they're good players at this level. We've got to keep working on things, keep analysing things and show the boys where they're doing well on the video afterwards, so that they can see there are certain areas where they are doing well.

"But what we have got to do and what will lift confidence is if we defend properly. You think you've cracked it and then it comes and bites you back because we certainly didn't do that against Crawley."