Portsmouth held to draw against high-flying Peterborough

Pompey made it 10 games unbeaten in all competitions with a 2-2 draw against Peterborough at Fratton Park.

Saturday, 7th December 2019, 4:58 pm
Updated Saturday, 7th December 2019, 6:41 pm

But the Blues may feel disappointed not to have made it seven successive victories against their League One promotion rivals.

Ivan Toney gave Darren Ferguson’s men the lead but Lee Brown smashed home an equaliser with his maiden goal for the club.

Then Ellis Harrison put Kenny Jackett’s side ahead in the second period, only for ex-target Mo Eisa to earn Peterborough a point.

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Captain Tom Naylor returned to Pompey’s starting line-up after missing the past four games with a hamstring injury.

Nathan Thompson lined up for the visitors, after leaving Fratton Park at the end of last season having turned down a new deal.

Pompey had a good chance to open the scoring after six minutes. Curtis was fouled by Thompson 25 yards from goal but the Irishman drilled his free-kick against the wall.

And just four minutes later the visitors opened the scoring. Oli Hawkins swiped at thin air when trying to clear Fratton academy graduate Dan Butler’s cross, leaving the unmarked Toney at the back post with a simple tap-in.

Ellis Harrison fires home against Peterborough. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues’ response was a good one, however, with Curtis having a penalty shout turned down in the 16th minute.

They were level on 26 minutes, though, through Brown’s first goal in 68 appearances. After Ryan Williams won Pompey a free-kick on the edge of the area, the left-back stepped up and drilled a low effort beyond Posh keeper Christy Pym.

Jackett’s men almost weren’t level for long only for a fine stop from Craig MacGillivray. Pompey failed to clear a free-kick and the ball fell to Frankie Kent, but his effort was well kept out by the home keeper to his left.

Thompson was proving the pantomime villain, with the Fratton faithful chanting “Championship, you’re having a laugh” after he turned down fresh terms and departed in the summer in the hope of a move to the second tier.

The game continued to ebb and flow, with Williams having an angled shot well saved by Pym.

With two minutes of the half remaining, it took an important bit of defending from Brown to shield off Thompson at the back post.

Marquis had a gilt-edged chance to put Pompey in front moments into the second period when slipped in by Brandon Haunstrup, but scuffed his effort.

It was to be the Blues who notched the next goal, though, when Harrison struck in the 52nd minute.

Marquis spotted the striker's run and Pym could only get a hand to his effort, with the ball trickling over the line for his eighth goal of the campaign.

MacGillivray was forced into an important block with he thwarted Idris Kanu’s cross with his foot then made a decent save from Thompson’s left-foot effort.

But the leveller arrived in the 72nd minute with Isle of Wight lad Butler again the architect. His cross from the left picked out Eisa completely on his own and headed home.

Jackett’s men should have again been ahead two minutes later but Curtis headed just the wrong side of the post when left completely unmarked from a corner.

Then Harrison did well to collect Haunstrup's lobbed pass but his effort on the stretch was saved by the onrushing Pym.

And while Pompey may feel they deserved a win, a point represents a decent return against the third-placed Peterborough and they remain 10th in the table.

Pompey: MacGillvray, Haunstrup (McCrorie 90+2), Burgess, Hawkins, Brown, Naylor, Close, Williams (Harness 73), Marquis, Curtis, Harrison.

Subs not used: Bass, Walkes, Downing, McCrorie, Evans, Pitman.

Peterborough: Pym, Mason (Tasdemir 62), Beevers, Kent, Thompson, Woodyard, Reed, Kanu, Butler, Toney, Eisa (Jones 90).

Subs not used: Chapman, Bennett, Burrows, Cartwright, Barker..