AN honourable draw to satisfy both promotion candidates.
And while Leam Richardson can reflect on missing out on a deserved Pompey win, he can acknowledge the immense importance of that single point.
Gary Roberts’ 10th goal of the season secured a 1-1 draw for the Blues against Plymouth at Fratton Park.
It cancelled out Jake Jervis’ 12th-minute opener as the clash between second and third must have served compulsive viewing to the neutral television audience.
Such was the dominance of Paul Cook’s side, they may feel a twinge of disappointment not to have clinched victory over the Pilgrims.
As it was, both teams were in no hurry to push for a late triumph as they gratefully accepted a share of the spoils.
Pompey’s assistant boss said: ‘You are always disappointed not to win a game.
‘Certainly at our place, when we’ve had so much possession and control of the ball.
‘If we had won, nobody would have complained and said we’d robbed anyone.
‘But if you’ve had 89 minutes where you have given it your best shot, then I don’t think you should be sprinting around the pitch taking quick free-kicks and quick throw-ins, gambling forward.
‘Both teams gave their best, certainly individual players played very well for both teams, and it would have been a good spectacle for the neutral.
‘For their goal, Gareth Evans has done really well defensively and nipped in front of the lad and I thought had read it.
‘Then we are just about to go on the attack and he has stood on the ball and slipped over.
‘Then they go down their left, the cross comes in and it was a good goal from their point of view.
‘You would expect a response from our players and that is what we got.
‘They are quite methodical in what they do.
‘They stick at it and there are not many times since I’ve been here that they have walked off the pitch having not given everything.
‘The equaliser was a great ball from Kyle Bennett.
‘We spoke at half-time about getting into better areas because, to be honest, I thought their keeper had spilled a couple and we felt we could capitalise on that. Thankfully, we did.’
Pompey may even have snatched a late win, yet substitute Conor Chaplin headed Kal Naismith’s 86th-minute cross wide from six yards out.
Richardson added: ‘Conor will be disappointed knowing him,
‘He’s one of the lads that doesn’t need many chances, you expect him to score.
‘But he’s had good minutes on the pitch again, he’s certainly a large part of what we are doing.’