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Nine-man Pompey glad to hold on to point against Doncaster
Sunday, 4th Feb 2018 07:20 by staff

Pompey didn't know whether to laugh or cry after twice coming behind to level against Doncaster then ending the game with nine men after a red card and an injury to keeper Stephen Henderson.

Anton Walkes, on his debut, and sub Brett Pitman each cancelled out a Rovers lead and at times the Blues were on top and looked like they could go on to win.

But a harsh sending off for Christian Burgess and an injury on his second Pompey debut to keeper Stephen Henderson were big setbacks. Holding on to the point with Kal Naismith in goal made it feel like a win in the end.

Boss Kenny Jackett told the club website: 'Taking into account what happened from 85 minutes onwards, we’re very happy with the point. The injury to the goalkeeper and then the sending off – which I think surprised everyone in the ground – made it tough.

'But the commitment the players showed after that was fantastic and I’m proud of them for that. They battled away to earn us a draw. We had a lot of control and did better between the boxes than we have done for a while, but the goals against have again disappointed me.'

With Henderson, Walkes, Matt Kennedy and Connor Ronan all coming into the starting line-up Pompey had a poor start and James Coppinger skipped into the six-yard box to slot past Henderson for a fourth minute Doncaster lead.

On 19 minutes it was 1-1 when Walkes pounced ahead of Matt Clarke to force home a Gareth Evans corner.

The Blues dominated much of the rest of the first half but a second goal wouldn't come and Rovers retook the lead after the break when ex-Fratton striker John Marquis netted his fourth goal in three games against Pompey, heading home a corner unmarked.

Eight minutes from the end of the 90 Pitman was in the right place at the far post to convert a Dion Donohue cross after good work by Ronan played the left-back into space.

The drama was not over. Henderson had to limp off and with all three subs used, Naismith went in goal. He and the defence kept Doncaster out - not helped by the loss of Burgess to a second booking, for handball, that means he will miss the visit to MK Dons next week.

Pompey: Henderson; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke, Donohue; Thompson, Close; Evans (c) (Lowe 72), Ronan, Kennedy (Naismith 72); Hawkins (Pitman 59). Subs not used: McGee, Deslandes, Widdrington, Chaplin.

Referee: Graham Salisbury

Attendance: 17,364 (366 away fans)


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