Appy has mixed emotions over dramatic derby draw

Michael Appleton congratulates David Norris after the midfielder's dramatic stoppage-time leveller in the 2-2 draw at St Mary's Picture: Allan Hutchings

Michael Appleton congratulates David Norris after the midfielder's dramatic stoppage-time leveller in the 2-2 draw at St Mary's Picture: Allan Hutchings

Pompey play host to Cambridge United at Fratton Park

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Michael Appleton admitted to mixed emotions after seeing Pompey snatch an incredible last-gasp 2-2 draw at Southampton, just moments after thinking they had been sent spinning to late defeat.

The Blues boss saw Billy Sharp net what appeared to be a controversial late winner with his second goal of the game, only for David Norris to crack home a sweet stoppage-time volley for a share of the spoils.

Chris Maguire had earlier cancelled out Sharp’s opener with a superb drive from an acute angle to send the teams into half-time at 1-1.

But in an absorbing contest, Pompey hit back to send their supporters home with huge grins on their faces.

Appleton said: ‘I’ve got mixed emotions after that.

‘I was happy, relieved, frustrated. It was a bit of a mixture of all sorts of things after a game like that.

‘I would have been very frustrated if we hadn’t come away with at least a point so I suppose you’ve got to be happy that we’ve come back for a second time in the 93rd minute to get something from the game.

‘It was a concern that we’d lost the game that late. It was a case of “have we got enough in the bag to come back?” - expecially after what happened to us last week.

‘The biggest thing I asked the players was to deal with disappointment. We didn’t do that last week against Burnley but we did it twice this week.

‘All credit to the players for showing that spirit and desire to get something from the game when we thought we had been robbed.’

Asked about the Southampton late goal, Appleton said: ‘I was fuming at the time of the decision, but I saw the replay and saw it came off Luke Varney’s head so the referee got it spot on.

‘It was hard to take, but then Chuck came up with a brilliant strike.

‘It could be a vital point looking towards the rest of the season and it could give us that momentum we need.’

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