Pompey skipper to the rescue on day of late drama at Fratton Park

Brett Pitman came off the bench to score Pompey's equaliser
Brett Pitman came off the bench to score Pompey's equaliser
Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Brett Pitman rescued a battling point for Pompey as their winless start to 2018 continued.

The striker came off the bench to earn Kenny Jackett's side a 2-2 draw against Doncaster at Fratton Park.

The Blues captain levelled from a corner to cancel out former Pompey striker John Marquis' fourth goal in three games against his old side.

Veteran James Coppinger had given Darren Ferguson's outfit a fourth-minute lead, before Anton Walkes scored on his debut after 19 minutes.

There was a worrying moment with five minutes left when Stephen Henderson was taken off in severe distress on his second Pompey debut, after going down off the ball.

With all of Pompey's subs used it was left to Kal Naismith to go between the sticks.

Jackett's men were then reduced to nine men in stoppage-time when Christian Burgess was sent after being given a second yellow card

But Pompey held on with a gutsy effort and a fine late save from their makeshift keeper between the sticks.

A poor start from the home side saw them fall behind after four minutes when Coppinger applied the final touch through the bodies and debut-making keeper Stephen

Henderson, after Alfie Beestin's initial shot was blocked.

It could have got worse in the 16th minute when Blues old-boy Marquis headed past Henderson, but the offside flag was raised.

Pompey levelled three minutes later when Walkes got the final touch from close range from Gareth Evans' corner.

From there it was all Pompey, with Evans' 30-yarder deflected over and Matt Clarke's header saved by keeper Ian Lawlor from Dion Donohue's corner

Decent link-up play between Matty Kennedy and Connor Ronan ended with Hawkins lobbing a shot just over seven minutes before the break.

Close had a decent sight of goal 12 minutes after the restart, but Lawlor was quick to smother his angled finish.

The visitors retook the lead in the 63rd minute when Marquis was left unmarked to head past Henderson from six yards, following Coppinger's corner.

Pompey failed to respond with any chances of note as poor crossing let them down when in good positions.

But the leveller came with nine minutes left when Pitman bundled the ball home from a corner.

There was heartache for Henderson as he came off with five minutes left, in agony after going down off the ball.

With all Pompey's subs used it was left to Naismith to go between the sticks.

The home side were left desperately holding on through seven minutes of stoppage-time, in which Burgess was given his marching orders with a second yellow card for a foul.

Naismith made a superb reaction save from Ben Whiteman in the added time, as the Blues held on for a brave point as the home side roared their team on.

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