Blues secure point in cup clash
Danny East and Adam Webster returned from injury lay-offs as Pompey Reserves drew 2-2 with Newport.
Ben Close and Conor Chaplin were on target for the Blues in their Final Third Development Cup group stage fixture.
Ricky Holmes caused the Newport defence plenty of problems, although an early chance went begging when he trod on the ball.
But the winger did better with his next effort, which was turned over by County keeper Lenny Pidgeley.
And Holmes then embarked on a dangerous run, ending with a fierce shot that just cleared the crossbar.
But it was the visitors who broke the deadlock with a penalty on 18 minutes.
Chris Zebroski was clattered by both Johnny Ertl and Michael Poke inside the box, but dusted himself down to score from the spot.
Pompey tried to find an equaliser, but Lewis Gill dragged a shot wide, while Joe Devera’s header lacked the power to trouble Pidgeley.
But the keeper produced a fine save moments later to beat away Gill’s fiercely-struck drive.
The Blues were shooting on sight, but their efforts were lacking accuracy, with both Holmes and Chaplin failed to find the target before the break.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Newport 1
East and Webster were both brought on for the start of the second half, with the former making an immediate impact.
With almost his first touch of the ball, East teed-up CLOSE to slam home Pompey’s equaliser from close range.
And the Blues forged ahead on 55 minutes, albeit in controversial fashion.
With Tom Owen-Evans lying injured on the ground, referee Matthew Lee decided to play on, much to the disgust of Newport boss Justin Edinburgh.
But CHAPLIN took advantage of the visitors’ hesistancy, nipping in ahead of Pidgeley to stroke the ball into the net.
He might have scored again soon after, but dragged a shot wide under pressure following good work from Brandon Joseph-Buadi.
Zebroski looked odds-on to grab his second of the afternoon as the action switched to the other end of the pitch, only for the Blues defence to somehow scramble the ball behind.
Gill then came close to securing the points for Pompey, but his shot flashed narrowly past the post.
And Newport made the most of that let-off by securing a draw with their second penalty of the match on 88 minutes.
Curtis Obeng's run was crudely ended by Nick Awford inside the Blues box and substitute Rene Howe stepped up to convert.
Pompey: Poke; Wynter, Ertl, Devera (Webster 46), Haunstrup; Joseph-Buadi, Awford, Close, R.Holmes (East 46 (Haitham 76)); Chaplin, Gill
Subs not used: George, Nilsen
Newport: Pidgeley, Poole, Obeng, Parselle, Chapman, Zanotti (Howe 54), Byrne, Collins, Owen-Evans (Bamford 58), Crow, Zebroski
Subs not used: Grey, James
Referee: Matthew Lee