Derek Adams will have to wait a little longer to get over the finishing line after late Fratton Park drama.
Plymouth secured a 1-1 draw at Pompey yesterday in front of the Sky cameras.
Jake Jervis opened the scoring in the 12th minute with a header from Gary Sawyer’s cross, but Gary Roberts levelled in the second half.
Despite the points being shared between the second and third-placed rivals, results elsewhere stoked up hopes of promotion being clinched on the sunny south coast.
With the final whistle sounding on the televised encounter which kicked off 30 minutes early, the focus was turned elsewhere.
News that Leyton Orient were leading at Luton, while Stevenage were losing at home to Morecambe, had prompted the 2,644 away followers to celebrate in expectation of automatic promotion there and then.
The Pilgrims players returned to their dressing room awaiting the tantalising outcome – only for Isaac Vassell to net a 73rd-minute equaliser for the Hatters.
Irrespective of Stevenage’s defeat, the 2-2 Kenilworth Road outcome ensures Plymouth must wait until Monday at the very least to secure their fate.
And with a home fixture to Newport County, Adams is eyeing the result they require.
The Pilgrims boss said: ‘We’ve got four games now to get over the finishing line and it’s important we do that as soon as we can.
‘We will take things as they come. The players are in good spirits, they have performed well and we look forward to Monday.
‘We started the game very well. We had the better of the first half and Portsmouth had the better of the second.
‘It was a big game for both clubs and I thought both teams handled it very well.
‘We came here to do a job, and we did that – we came away with the point.
‘We’ve got a fabulous away record and Portsmouth are trying to get themselves automatically promoted.’
Pompey and around 4,450 followers head to Notts County on Bank Holiday Monday and may also win promotion.
They would require victory over Kevin Nolan’s side and hope Luton fail to win at Mansfield.
As for Plymouth, they face a Newport team who yesterday defeated Yeovil, recording a third-successive victory in the process.
The Exiles are now one point adrift of Hartlepool, who lie one place above the relegation spots with four matches remaining.