Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett praised his side for finding a way to win after the promotion hopefuls beat 10-man AFC Wimbledon 2-1 at Fratton Park.
Goals from Marcus Harness and substitute John Marquis ensured the south coast side maintained their unbeaten home record this season.
Joe Pigott had equalised for Wimbledon who had Scott Wagstaff sent off late on.
Jackett said: “We didn’t fall away when we went back to one each, after really being in control of the game and on top, we found a way.
“We could have made it easier for ourselves in the last 10 minutes with a couple of good chances and that would have made the five minutes of injury time a little bit easier.
“No victory is easy and today was certainly hard-earned and well deserved, I did think we were the better side.
“It finishes off a good week for us with three 2-1 wins in different competitions but this is obviously the most important one.
“Maybe the advantage should have been a little greater but we did not take our chances. We couldn’t get the same flow in the second half and that was difficult.”
Pompey dominated throughout and took a deserved lead when Harness opened the scoring after 20 minutes.
Sean Raggett brought the ball out from the back before releasing Andy Cannon to run at the Dons’ defence and slot in Harness perfectly for the winger to take a touch and fire into the bottom corner.
Portsmouth failed to make their first-half dominance count and Wimbledon punished them with an equaliser just after the hour mark.
Mitch Pinnock beat the offside trap and headed to the byline before drilling a low cross for Pigott to slide home from close range.
Pompey regained the lead through substitute Marquis’ header with 11 minutes remaining.
Harness sprayed the ball to Ronan Curtis who checked inside and whipped in a cross for Marquis to nod in unmarked.
Wagstaff was sent off 11 minutes after coming on as a substitute when he was dismissed for a second bookable offence with 83 minutes gone to all but end the visitors’ chances.
Dons manager Glynn Hodges said: “We gave them both goals, they were disappointing.
“We didn’t play how we set out to in the first half but the second half we did and caused them a problem.
“We scored a great goal, it was a good cross from Mitch Pinnock and a great run from Joe Pigott to get us back into it.
“We had another half-chance after that but when you come here you are going to get under pressure and you can’t give free headers in the box.
“With the effort, you can’t fault them and to get back into it and think we are in a good place but then we got done with the sucker punch.
“We spoke before the game and said the referee is going to give things against us and we keep our heads, that’s another learning curve.”