|Bristol Rovers 2 v 1 Portsmouth|
SkyBet League One
Monday, 1st January 2018 Kick-off 15:00
No happy return from Rovers for Pompey
Monday, 1st Jan 2018 20:24 by pompey-fans.com staff
Pompey's new year got off to a losing start despite Oli Hawkins' third headed goal in two games giving them a second-half lead. With Danny Rose and Gareth Evans both crocked, Adam May and Jamal Lowe came into take their place.
Billy Boden and Stuart Sinclair both tested Luke McGee in the first half, while Lowe and Brett Pitman went closest for Kenny Jackett's team.
The match could have swung either way but it was Pompey who took the lead on 64 minutes when Hawkins again showed how good he is in the air by rising to head May's right-sided cross past Adam Smith from a fair way out.
Ben Close and Matt Kennedy both saw chances to make it 2-0 go begging before the Gad levelled on 84 minutes when Sinclair was first to pounce after McGee had been unable to hold on to Bodin's fierce effort.
A draw would probably have been a fair result but you have to go back to August to find the last time Pompey ended all-square in a league game and sure enough, there was late drama here too as Liam Sercombe fired in low from 25 yards after a free-kick was played to him.
Jackett told The News afterwards: 'The game came alive in the latter stages and there was wave after wave of attacks at the end. We just couldn't see it out, but I can't be too critical of my players given how well they defended until that point.
'We kept two up front but we just couldn't seem to get out. 'It's a tough place to come but we had the chance with Matty Kennedy at 1-0. 'After that they put the pressure on and got the goals to give them the points.'
Pompey have no league game now until Scunthorpe's visit to Fratton on January 13.
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