Erik Huseklepp’s injury-time winner breathed fresh life into Pompey’s season after a 1-0 win over Blackpool.
The Blues looked to be heading for a frustrating afternoon as they struggled to find a creative spark in their bid to end a four-match winless run.
But up popped Huseklepp with seconds remaining when he picked up Greg Halford’s long throw and showed great technique to unleash a fine volley into the net.
It was the Norwegian international’s first goal for Pompey since his summer arrival from Bari.
And it ensured the feel-good factor returned to Fratton Park ahead of Tuesday night’s visit of Peterborough.
The Blues were grateful to Jamie Ashdown for keeping a clean sheet after he blocked Matt Phillips’ first-half effort when the midfielder was put clean through on goal.
Meanwhile, the Fratton faithful held their breath when Jason Pearce bundled down Thomas Ince inside the area - only for the Blackpool man to get booked for diving.
Ward had the hosts’ best chance in a forgettable first half when he nodded narrowly wide from Halford’s long throw.
Pompey improved after the break and went close to taking the lead as Huseklepp’s fine through ball found Liam Lawrence, who was denied by Matt Gilks.
Steve Cotterill’s men were then grateful for heroic defending from Pearce after his brave block got in the way of Ian Evett’s goalbound shot.
Ward then nearly won it for Pompey in injury-time when his low drive from the edge of the area needed a fine save from Gilks.
But just as the Blues looked to be heading for a point, Huseklepp’s heroics sent the Fratton faithful into a frenzy.