Paul Tisdale had words of praise for ‘dogged’ Pompey as they were left frustrated at Exeter.
The Exeter boss lauded his side for playing with a freedom which was rewarded with a 90th-minute leveller in the 1-1 draw.
But the Grecians manager was also impressed with the performance of Paul Cook’s side in the first half.
And he felt they dug in after the break – until they were finally undone late on.
Tisdale told BBC Radio Devon: ‘I thought they played pretty well in the first half.
‘But then it developed into a stalemate, to be honest.
‘I can’t fault our team though.
‘They played as a team and got around the pitch.
‘They weren’t perfect, but I was impressed with how they played football, particularly in the second half.
‘We were a goal down for 50 minutes but kept playing football.
‘Okay, I took some chances with the subs and had a very attacking team on the pitch.
‘That gave us the impetus to pass and move it, though.
‘They coped with us really well.
‘Their right-back blocked Lee Holmes about five or six times in the second half and that was symptomatic of a very dogged performance.
‘But eventually we managed to get in there.
‘I’m delighted with the performance – really, really pleased.
‘It was an excellent performance and I liked the way we played with freedom.
‘We had support throughout the game.
‘It was windy and bumpy but we played with freedom in a progressive performance.’
It could have been better for the home side if Jayden Stockley had taken one of the host of chances which fell his way.
Stockley failed to hit the target when well placed from two headers in the first half.
The man who scored two goals while on loan at Pompey this season then fired wide on the turn from a few yards out after the break.
He had been in excellent form for Exeter since joining them.
But Tisdale noted how Conor Chaplin bagged a clinical finish moments after one of Stockley’s misses.
He said: ‘You have to take your chances.
‘Jayden had three or four good shots.
‘Their goal was a snapshot and he took it early, a true shot.
‘It looked very different to if Jayden had taken that chance.’
Exeter travel to 12th placed Cambridge in their next match on Saturday while Pompey head to Stevenage.