A moment of controversy – and according to Danny Rose the game’s turning point.
Linesman John Farries incensed the Fratton faithful by proclaiming Matt Clarke had handled the ball.
Rose had already headed Simon Cox’s ferocious goal-bound shot off the line earlier in the move.
Southend’s John White’s follow up then crashed against Clarke and referee Carl Boyeson to was alerted to what his linesman believed was a handball.
Pompey players and supporters united in their fury at the decision, but the spot kick stood.
Nile Ranger stepped up to blaze the first-half stoppage-time penalty into the Fratton end, while the match officials continued to be at the receiving end of the fury.
Even the player close to the ball, Theo Robinson, who is right next to Clarke and would have had the best view, didn’t claim itDanny Rose
Still, Brett Pitman’s 54th minute header settled the match in the Blues’ favour for a third-straight victory.
But Rose believes that penalty incident which bristled the biggest Fratton Park crowd of the season altered proceedings.
He said: ‘I thought it was the turning point in the game, it was just before half-time, the crowd came to life and the atmosphere was electric after that.
‘Heading into half-time, Southend were disappointed they missed a penalty and opportunity to go ahead. We probably saw the best of them in that first half in terms of the way they moved the ball.
‘We believed we weathered that storm from them.
‘I think the Southend players will remember that roar heading into half-time just minutes after the missed penalty. In the second half they knew the fans and whole club were up for it – and we got our rewards.
‘That penalty, though, was an unfair decision and it was justice he missed it.
‘Our analyst, Andy, came into the dressing room after the game because we wanted to see a replay of the incident.
‘It may have struck the outside of his (Clarke’s) upper arm, but given his hands are behind his back and the velocity of the strike, there is not much more you can do. For it to be a penalty was really harsh.
‘Only one of their players claimed handball – Anton Ferdinand. He didn’t have a great view of it himself but was more clutching at straws in the hope that he may get a decision.
‘Even the player close to the ball, Theo Robinson, who is right next to Clarke and would have had the best view, didn’t claim it. He followed the ball out and picked it up to take a corner – and the linesman has flagged for what he thought was handball.
‘If the referee had deemed it was a penalty and deliberate handball then he should have sent him off, that is what I believe is in the rules.
‘If he has not seen it to be deliberate then it’s not a penalty.
‘We were very disappointed with that decision and thankfully a bit of karma happened.’
Ranger’s right-footed penalty miss was, of course, rejoiced by Pompey fans.
Rose added: ‘With the referee deliberating the decision, there was certainly a long time to decide where you are going to put the penalty, he slipped as well, which always helps.
‘Kicking into that immense Fratton end crowd also helped.’