Wolves' third away win in seven days had been their most difficult. 'I'm not sure if we deserved it,' their manager Graham Taylor said. 'If I'm honest I would say we were two or three gears short today.'
Pompey took the lead after 11 minutes when Kit Symons beat three men before Peter Shirtliff floored him. Gerry Creaney converted the penalty. 'I thought we deserved three penalties apart from the one we scored,' the Portsmouth manager Jim Smith said.
Former England winger Mark Walters, waltzing in from the right, beat two defenders and equalised with a 20-yard shot to set up Kelly's clincher. 'We had plenty of pressure but never got in a position to trouble their goalkeeper. If Gerry Creaney does not look like scoring, no one does,' Smith grumbled.
Second-placed Middlesbrough, still without player-manager Bryan Robson, also won away by the narrowest margin when John Hendrie ran on to Curtis Fleming's through ball and took it around Bristol City goalkeeper Keith Welch to score. Two late strikes at Swindon by Paul Bodin, his second of the game, and Keith Scott earned a 3-2 win over Grimsby and lifted them above Reading who came back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at Watford.
The Second Division leaders Oxford had to fight to beat Leyton Orient, who have now lost 12 consecutive away games. David Rush, signed last week from Sunderland, scored the winner a minute from time. United's 3-2 win keeps them a point ahead of Huddersfield who won 4-3 at third-placed Bradford.
Bury went top of the Third Division despite conceding their first goal in 709 minutes of Endsleigh football. They beat Chesterfield 2-1 while former leaders Carlisle went down 2-1 at Northampton. Third-placed Barnet, mid-week conquerors of Manchester City, won 2-1 at Torquay.
In France, Tony Cascarino's remarkable scoring streak for Marseille continued last night when he scored a hat-trick in the Second Division side's 5-0 win over Laval, bringing his total to 15 in 11 games after leaving Chelsea on a free transfer.Reuse content