STEVE CLARIDGE is jokingly thinking of putting up an exclusion zone inside the penalty area for Nigel Quashie.

Early in the second half on Saturday, the Portsmouth midfielder missed a peach of a chance inside the six-yard box - Wimbledon goalkeeper Kelvin Davies blocked Quashie's shot after he had initially fumbled Luke Nightingale's drive.

But Quashie redeemed himself in spectacular style with a screamer of a goal after 27 minutes which turned into the match-winner.

He latched on to Ceri Hughes' short corner, took a couple of touches, before unleashing a terrific drive from 25 yards which flew straight as an arrow into the top right-hand corner.

"You have to give him credit, it was a great strike, the sort of goal which wins matches," conceded Wimbledon boss, Terry Burton.

"It was a fantastic goal," chimed Portsmouth player-manager, Steve Claridge.

"I have been trying to get Nigel into the box more, but I think I'm going to have to stop that now!"

Quashie himself fought shy of talking about the goal after the game, but he and his team-mates will have been delighted with the three points - their first in the league since December 2 against Norwich - as well as the manner of that victory.

Portsmouth played well. Their passing game, so often an Achilles' heel in the Pompey armoury, came together and there was more fluidity about the movement of the team.

Quashie had been the instigator behind Portsmouth's opening goal after 15 minutes, exchanging a one-two with Stefani Miglioranzi, only to be bundled over in the penalty area by Mark Williams.

Lee Bradbury coolly stepped up to send Davis the wrong way with the penalty for his sixth goal of the season.

But Wimbledon showed why they have won eight times on the road this season. Unlike many teams who have come to Fratton to shut up shop from the start and countering whenever presented with the opportunity, the Dons came to play.

Captain Darren Moore failed to a teasing Gareth Ainsworth cross after 20 minutes and Jason Euell fired past Aaron Flahavan.

Portsmouth pushed a probed, using the flanks well, and were rewarded with Quashie's strike - his fourth goal of the season. The second half was a tighter affair. Wimbledon pulled the strings, but Pompey, with Moore an awesome figure in defence, shut them out.

Three valuable points push Portsmouth into 12th and mid-table security.