Stewart’s late equaliser breaks Pompey hearts

Ryan Bird, left, challenges for the ball against Wycombe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ryan Bird, left, challenges for the ball against Wycombe. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Pompey midfielder Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Pompey were left heartbroken by Anthony Stewart’s late, late header which salvaged Wycombe a 2-2 draw tonight.

Second-half goals from Andy Barcham and Patrick Agyemang looked to have given caretaker boss Andy Awford’s side all three points.

That was after Matt McClure put the Chairboys in front in the 22nd minute and Connolly saw his penalty saved.

But then came Stewart’s header with virtually the last touch of the game to leave the Blues frustrated.

Pompey made one change for the game with Jack Whatmough ruled out through illness – Danny East replaced him.

The Blues carved out the first chance of the game after eight minutes, with East’s cross seemingly on its way, in after Ricky Holmes got a scuffed boot on it – but Matt Ingram got a hand to the ball.

It was a fairly even start but it took 21 minutes for Wycombe to carve out a chance, as Stuart Lewis fired at Trevor Carson.

But Pompey fell behind 60 seconds later as they failed to clear Matt Spring’s cross, allowing Matt McClure to swivel and fire home.

Sam Wood then fired wide with the visitors well in the ascendancy before Carson saved superbly from Billy Knott’s header.

In between those two incidents, East was worryingly stretchered off after falling awkwardly as he went for a brave header.

A lengthy stoppage ensued until he was ferried to an ambulance and taken to hospital. He was replaced by Bondz N’Gala.

Pompey had to do something to change the manner in which they had lost their way in the first-half.

And Andy Awford responded by bringing on Connolly for Jed Wallace and switching to a 4-4-2.

There was more urgency about Pompey’s play with Holmes whipping in a dangerous cross which Ingram palmed away.

Then Barcham went to ground in the box after a surging run, but ref Darren Drysdale ruled there was no foul.

Cooper dragged his 20 yards shot wide in the 66th minute as Pompey continued to push.

Pompey had a great chance to level in the 71st minute when Wood fouled Connolly in the box.

Connolly got up to take the spot kick but Ingram saved his driven effort and Marvin McCoy denied Bird from the follow up.

But the Blues did pull a goal back in the 72nd minute as Andy Barcham blasted home a powerful shot inside the box.

Pompey were now asking all the questions, and took the lead with just six minutes left.

It was their other sub, Agyemang, who glanced home Holmes’ free-kick in front of the Fratton End to spark raucous celebrations.

Pompey looked good for the win, but there was heartache as Wycombe levelled with the last touch of the game.

It was sub Stewart who powered home a header to leave Fratton Park in silence on the full-time whistle.