Wycombe Wanderers were sucked deeper into the relegation mire as they lost 3-2 to promotion-chasing Portsmouth in their League One clash at Adams Park.

In a fairly even first half in terms of chances, Jamal Lowe gave Pompey the lead on 17 minutes, coolly slotting the home through a crowd of players.

Wanderers had their chances but Pompey hit the Blues with a sucker punch just 30 seconds into the second half through the superb Brett Pitman, as he robbed Anthony Stewart and fired past Ryan Allsop.

Marcus Bean pulled one back for the home side on 54 minutes, bundling the ball home after a spot of pinball in the box.

However, Pitman struck a sublime free kick on the hour after Jason McCarthy was adjudged to have fouled Lowe.

Wycombe responded well to that and substitute Scott Kashket struck a magnificent volley on 82 minutes to give the Blues hope.

It was a relatively quiet opening 10 minutes at Adams Park, with Portsmouth have the lions share of possession and a few corners which were well defended by Wanderers.

Lowe had the first chance for the visitors on 11 minutes but he curled his effort a few yards over after good work by Pitman.

Pitman himself almost scored with a cracking effort two minutes later but his effort fizzed just over from 20 yards.

Pompey’s pressure paid off when Wycombe failed to clear their lines and Lowe calmly tucked the shot away from 12 yards on 17 minutes.

Wanderers were struggling to get out of their half as Portsmouth hunted a second goal.

There were few chances in the game with Kenny Jackett’s side content to keep the ball and Wycombe defending stoutly whilst hoping to hit their opponents on the break.

The Blues had their first effort on 34 minutes when McCarthy’s excellent free kick from 25 yards was brilliantly tipped wide by Craig MacGillivray.

Gareth Ainsworth’s side were beginning to find their attacking prowess and MacGillivray performed heroics to pull off a blinding save to deny Paris Cowan Hall’s piledriver on 38 minutes.

Pompey had one more opportunity at the end of the first half when a fierce drive from Lowe was well kept out by Ryan Allsop.

Wycombe got off to the worst possible start in the second half when, just 30 seconds in, Pitman capitalised on Stewart'S error to fire past Allsop.

The Chairboys responded well to that sucker punch and MacGillivray produced another flying save to deny Cowan-Hall on 51 minutes.

The goal then came on 54 minutes from an unlikely source as Bean bundled the ball home. Despite a very late flag from the linesman, referee John Busby ruled the goal stand.

However, the Blues gave away a free kick on the hour right on the edge of the box and the excellent Pitman curled an exquisite free kick into the far corner to give Allsop no chance.

Once again, Wanderers responded well to that huge setback and a minute later, McCarthy’s low cross was agonisingly inches away from Adebayo Akinfenwa.

Allsop then produced a fine save at the other end to deny Matt Clarke from six yards after a lovely cross from Pitman.

Akinfenwa was looking to make his presence felt and he headed a half-chance wide on 69 minutes after a teasing cross from Nick Freeman.

MacGillivray was proving a thorn in Wanderers’ side and he denied the tireless Alex Samuel on 71 minutes with a fine, low save.

The Blues continued to knock on the door and Kashket smashed home an audacious volley to give his side a way back into the contest with eight minutes remaining.

Samuel came close to conjuring an equaliser on 88 minutes, meeting McCarthy's firm cross with a diving header which went wide of the near post.

Wanderers were pinning Pompey back in their own box, with Akinfenwa a focal point.

McCarthy had an opportunity when Pompey failed to clear in the 94th minute but his effort went way wide.

Akinfenwa had a huge shout for a penalty in the final minute when he appeared to be bundled over by Christian Burgess but referee Busby waved away the shouts.

The result leaves the Chairboys just a point above the drop zone as they get set to face Charlton on Tuesday evening (7.45pm).

WYCOMBE WANDERERS: Allsop, McCarthy, Stewart, El-Abd, Harriman, Bean (sub: Akinfenwa, 61), Gape, Bloomfield (sub: Thompson, 43), Cowan-Hall (sub: Kashket, 74), Samuel, Freeman. Subs: Ma-Kalambay, Jombati, Jacobson, Owens.

PORTSMOUTH: MacGillivray, Thompson, Clarke, Burgess, Brown, Naylor, Evans (sub: Curtis, 83), Close, Lowe, Pitman (sub: Walkes, 80, Hawkins. Subs: Bass, Bogle, Morris, Vaughan, Haunstrup.

REFEREE: John Busby