Late drama as Pompey exit Cup

Gary Roberts put Pompey 1-0 up just before half-time Picture: Joe Pepler
Gary Roberts put Pompey 1-0 up just before half-time Picture: Joe Pepler
New Pompey keeper Luke McGee Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey suffered late FA Cup heartbreak against Bournemouth this afternoon after surrendering a half-time lead to lose 2-1 in the fourth round.

The League Two hosts, watched on by an 18,901-strong crowd, broke the deadlock against their Premier League south-coast neighbours two minutes before the interval when Gary Roberts swept home following a brilliant spell of possession.

But hopes of a famous upset were dented 19 minutes from time when Cherries striker Josh King glanced home a Eunan O’Kane free-kick.

And with seven minutes left on the clock, the visitors completed the comeback when substitute Marc Pugh bundled over the line from close range after Blues goalkeeper Ryan Fulton did well to parry Lewis Grabban’s initial shot.

Marc McNulty was the first to seriously threaten in the game when his long-range attempt was tipped behind by sprawling Cherries goalkeeper Adam Federici.

The visitors then thought they had taken the lead on the half-hour mark when Juan Iturbe found space on the edge of the box before unleashing a low strike that looked destined for the bottom corner, only for Blues stopper Fulton to brilliantly turn the strike onto the post and away to safety.

The deadlock, though, was to be broken two minutes before the interval and when it arrived it came in memorable style for hosts Pompey.

Following a long spell of possession football that brought chants of ‘ole’ from the Fratton faithful, McNulty found himself on the end of a sweeping move inside the area, before having the presence of mind to square for the unmarked Roberts to crash home at the far post.

Roberts had a chance to double his and the Blues’ tally early in the second half when he was freed by Kyle Bennett but could only screw across the face of goal when well placed.

Bournemouth, who had been the better side in the second-half, were level 19 minutes from time when Eunan O’Kane’s free-kick was glanced home at the near post by King.

And with seven minutes left to play, spirited Pompey hearts were broken when Pugh bundled home after Fulton had done well to keep out Grabban’s first attempt.