Pompey surrender three-goal lead in Sligo draw
Pompey gave up a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Sligo Rovers in their pre-season opener.
Two Conor Chaplin goals and an opener from Gary Roberts in the first-half looked to have made it an easy evening’s work at The Showgrounds.
It proved a very friendly friendly for 45 minutes on the testimonial night for Sligo man Gavin Peers.
A total of 52 players were used with the Blues rattling in their goals with ease.
Sligo rolled out a stronger side after the interval, making the game a different story.
Peers pulled a goal back from the penalty spot after 69 minutes and the lively Kieran Sadlier then grabbed two goals in two minutes to see the game finish all square.
It proved a surreal first 45 minutes with with it effectively being a ‘friends of Peers’ Sligo side on his testimonial night.
That meant all but one of the team were either retired or without a club.
There were also seven changes in the first-half and Sligo managed to sneak an extra player on to the pitch for a few minutes.
Roberts opened the scoring after nine minutes when he tapped in after good play from Chaplin.
Roberts returned the favour when breaking clear eight minutes later.
Ciaran Kelly got a touch as he went around the keeper but the ball kindly fell to Chaplin who tucked it away.
Djilali fired just over after Anthony Elding also headed a cross over the top as Sligo had their moments.
But Chaplin finished clinically five minutes before the break after Roberts put him clear.
Sligo rang the changes at the break with 10 switches - and it was different game after the interval.
Kyle Bennett had his moment and created a couple of chances.
But it was Peers who started the comeback from the spot after 69 minutes following a foul by Tom Davies on Phil Roberts, which looked a soft decision.
Two goals in two minutes from the dangerous Sadlier saw Sligo finish level.
First Raffaele Cretaro turned the ball back for Sadlier to tap home under pressure from triallist Chris Sessegnon in the 85th minute.
And then Sadlier rifled past triallist keeper Eric Grimes to even the game up and complete the comeback.