Leonard strikes late to break Pompey hearts

Pompey crashed to defeat at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey crashed to defeat at Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey suffered late heartbreak at Roots Hall as they went down to a 2-1 defeat against Southend.

Ryan Leonard’s brilliant strike from 25 yards, two minutes into injury-time, handed the Shrimpers the victory after the game appeared to be heading for a 1-1 draw.

Sonny Bradley gave the Blues a well-deserved lead 29 minutes into the first half when he cooly fired home from an Ashley Harris corner.

It was a goal an attack-minded Pompey worked hard for after Wallace had forced a couple of saves out of busy home keeper Daniel Bentley.

However, Pompey were unable to protect their lead as Leonard’s deflected shot on 44 minutes, again from distance, caught out Trevor Carson and gave the home side an equaliser they hardly deserved.

Southend impressed in the early stages of the second half, but it was the Blues who looked the most likely to snatch a win after chances for Harris, Devera and Wallace, who hit the bar with a curler from the edge of the box.

As conditions continued to deteriorate, Pompey would have settled for a share of the spoils.

But they were unable to extend their unbeaten run to three games when Leonard popped up again deep into injury time to break Pompey hearts on New Year’s Day.