Pompey’s unbeaten run under caretaker boss Andy Awford continued as they dramatically fought back from 3-0 down to seal a remarkable 4-4 draw at Bury today.
Hallam Hope’s hat-trick and Andy Procter’s header looked to have earned the Shakers all three points at Gigg Lane – with second-half goals from Danny Hollands and Ryan Taylor looking nothing more than consolation efforts for the Blues.
However, makeshift striker Sonny Bradley – sent on only minutes earlier as a substitute – made it 4-3 in the 87th minute, before Wes Fogden pounced in added time to give Pompey a share of the spoils.
The thrilling result followed a sequence of five consecutive wins for Awford’s side – a run that secured the Blues’ Football League status and coincided with the former skipper’s return to the Fratton Park hot seat.
The in-form visitors made a lacklustre start to proceedings, though, and were behind inside the opening 10 minutes.
Everton loanee Hope reacted quickest to strike-partner Clive Platt’s flick on to steer his header past Trevor Carson off the underside of the crossbar.
The Blues briefly threatened a response as Jed Wallace and Taylor both tested Bury keeper Brian Jensen.
The hosts then looked to have doubled their lead when Pablo Mills’ header was tipped on to the post by Carson and ran along the Blues’ goalline.
But the recovering Hollands got back to clear the danger.
Bury were not to be denied, though, and from their next attack Hope had his and the Shakers’ second as the visitors’ defence switched off to allow the striker to fire past Carson from Tom Soares’ through ball on 34 minutes.
Two became three five minutes after the break when substitute Procter got on the end of Danny Mayor’s inviting cross to seemingly put the game out of sight.
The Blues responded well, however, as Hollands reacted quickest to Ben Chorley’s knock down to reduce the arrears from close range on 53 minutes.
Awford’s side then switched to an adventurous 4-3-3 formation, with the introduction of Patrick Agyemang and Bradley.
And on 82 minutes they netted through Taylor to set up a thrilling finale.
Bury appeared to have put the result beyond question when the impressive Hope fired home on the counter-attack for the hosts.
But in an enthralling affair, the Blues were back in it a minute later when Bradley prodded home in the final minute of normal time.
And, incredibly, in added time, the visitors completed a memorable comeback when Fogden fired home from close range to send the 1,498 travelling fans into raptures.