Pompey 1 Doncaster Rovers 1
Pompey ended a run of three league defeats in a row by claiming a hard-earned point at home to Doncaster – Omar Bogle the hero, making it two goals in two games since his loan move to the south coast.
Kenny Jackett may have been unhappy not to claim all three points but was thankful to an injury-time save from Craig MacGillvary from Rovers substitute Alfie May that ensured it wouldn’t be a fourth league defeat on the bounce.
Pompey fell behind when Mallik Wilkes pounced on a defensive error to give Rovers the lead just after the half-hour mark before Bogle hit back eight minutes into the second half, firing home from close range after good work from substitute James Vaughan.
After the midweek reverse at Luton, Jackett rang the changes for the visit of a Doncaster Rovers side looking to move into the play-off places.
After impressing as a second half substitute at Kenilworth Road with a goal on his debut, Bogle started in attack with Brett Pitman dropping out of the 18-man squad altogether. Fellow loan signings Vaughan and Lloyd Isgrove were handed places on the bench.
Nathan Thompson made a welcome return to the starting line-up after recovering from the hamstring injury he picked up in the Boxing Day defeat at Gillingham, and he was soon in the action and lucky to avoid a booking inside three minutes with a foul on Wilks. Referee Alan Young clearly noted the challenge, brandishing the yellow card to Thompson soon after for a second foul on the same player.
Bogle’s presence was soon causing problems for Rovers’ defence and he had two chances inside the opening 25 minutes: firstly failing to get a clean connection on Dion Donohue’s cross before latching on to Tom Naylor’s ball in, but only directing his header straight at goalkeeper Marko Marosi.
Pompey were hit by an injury blow on 28 minutes with Jack Whatmough limping off, Christian Burgess slotting in at centre-back.
Unfortunately, Burgess was soon in the action for the wrong reasons with the 27-year-old at fault as Wilkes was allowed through one on one with MacGillivray and slotted past the home goalkeeper – the goal leading to a very public post mortem amongst the Pompey defence.
The defensive change was clearly causing issues at the back and Jackett’s side were under sustained pressure for the next ten minutes – Wilkes causing a host of problems for the Pompey back-line.
As against Luton, Jackett had seen enough by half-time and Vaughan came on at the interval to make his debut, Donohue making way.
However, it was the visitors who made the first impression of the second half with Danny Andrew’s cross just evading John Marquis shortly after the restart.
The Pompey faithful, however, were soon in full voice with new signings Vaughan and Bogle giving them plenty to cheer about. Ronan Curtis’s cross caused a mix-up in the Rovers defence with Vaughan’s presence forcing the ball into the path of Bogle who made it two in two, rifling into the roof of the net from close range to draw the sides level.
Vaughan had a chance in the 87th minute to claim a goal on his debut only to have his effort deflected wide before both goalkeepers were forced into late saves to ensure it ended all square at the full-time whistle.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): MacGillivray; Thompson, Whatmough (Burgess, 28mins), Clarke, Brown; Naylor, Donohoe (Vaughan, 46); Lowe, Close, Curtis; Bogle (Evans, 77). Subs (not used): Bass (gk), May, Isgrove, Hawkins.
Doncaster Rovers (4-3-3): Marosi; Lewis, Downing, Anderson, Andrew; Whiteman (Crawford, 61mins), Kane, Blair (Rowe, 83); Wilks Marquis, Smith (May, 61). Subs (not used): Jones (gk), Butler, Sadlier, Coppinger.
Referee: Alan Young.