A last-gasp try from Damian Gibbs earned Portsmouth a thrilling 24-24 draw at KCS Old Boys in London two south west.
With time up on the clock, Gibbs completed his hat-trick of tries by powering over from the back of a five-metre scrum.
The conversion to win the game from a wide angle proved too difficult, with Simon Morgan kicking into a strong wind.
Portsmouth player-coach Ben Dudley was pleased to see his team come away with a try bonus point.
‘Though the result was good I had a tinge of frustration due to the fact we didn’t play for most of the second half,’ said Dudley.
‘During that period we were not able to apply any pressure and KCS were winning the gain-line exchanges.
‘Because of that we found ourselves trailing 24-19 with just a few minutes to go.
‘A monumental effort at a KCS scrummage saw us dig deep to win a penalty which put us in a position to get the vital score.
‘It shows the character in the team.
‘People at the club have said this was the type of game we would have lost in the past.’
The first half was a contest between the young pacy KCS three-quarters and the big heavy Portsmouth pack of forwards.
Portsmouth made their pack power work to their advantage in the opening 40 minutes and scored three tries.
Gibbs went over for the first two after picking up at the back of short-range scrummages.
Greg Hoolihan maintained his fantastic try-scoring run with a trademark score from a pick-and-drive from a line-out.
The home side responded with two well-worked tries as the visitors led 19-11 at the break.
KCS took charge at the start of the second half.
They scored two tries and if their kicker had been a little more accurate they could have put the game out of reach.
But Portsmouth can take heart from their league form after sealing the draw.
‘We reach the half-way stage of the season next game and a bonus-point home win will see us match our points total for the whole of last season,’ said Dudley.
‘As a coach I have to be chuffed with that.’
In London three south west United Services Portsmouth slumped to a 46-12 defeat at Teddington.
Southsea Nomads suffered a 32-3 defeat against third-placed Alresford in Hampshire two.