Impressive Blues pick up a point against table toppers
Pompey produced one of their most complete performances of the season to earn a point at league leaders Chesterfield.
They might have been celebrating all three if Tommy Lee had not made fine saves to deny both Jake Jervis and Wes Fogden.
The hosts also threatened at the other end, although a well-marshalled Blues back-line ensured Trevor Carson was well protected.
Richie Barker made two changes from the side that beat Accrington last Tuesday.
With Daniel Alfei and Michael Drennan away on under-21 international duty with Wales and the Republic of Ireland respectively, there were starts for Joe Devera and Jed Wallace.
Andy Barcham was also unavailable after his wife gave birth to a baby boy the previous night.
The hosts may have been flying high at the top of the League Two table, but it was Pompey who made the brighter start.
Ricky Holmes curled a shot into Lee’s arms from wide on the left in only the second minute.
And the winger was denied by Chesterfield’s keeper again moments later after he had done well to flick Wallace’s pass goalwards.
Jervis was next to go close on 10 minutes, cutting inside from the left, beating a defender and seeing his shot superbly turned onto the post by Lee.
Pompey certainly did not look like a side who had been beaten 5-1 in their last away fixture as they enjoyed a good spell of possession in and around the Spireites area.
The hosts, meanwhile, were unable to take advantage when they won a free-kick in a good position on 17 minutes.
Instead the Blues embarked in a quick counter-attack which saw Fogden tee-up Toumani Diagouraga and the midfielder unleash a shot that was deflected narrowly over.
Chesterfield finally had their first opportunity on 26 minutes, although Carson was not overly troubled by Ollie Banks’ effort from distance.
The home side did begin to look more threatening as the half progressed, although that failed dampen Pompey’s attacking instincts as the match became an end-to-end affair.
The game did start to drift as the interval neared, but Dan Gardner drilled a free-kick inches past the post after Ben Chorley had handled on the edge of the box.
Half Time: Chesterfield 0 Pompey 0
It was the hosts who were first to threaten after the restart, with Gary Roberts flashing a shot narrowly wide.
Bondz N’Gala then made a brave block to deny Banks as the attacking midfielder tried to break into the box.
Pompey were still looking threatening on the break, however, and Jervis only just failed to find the target from an acute angle.
And it took another super stop from Lee to stop the Blues from breaking the deadlock on 66 minutes.
Nicky Shorey sent a superb pin-point pass into the area and although the eye-catching Fogden brought the ball down impressively, the keeper was off his line quickly to make the save.
The travelling Pompey fans certainly seemed happy with what they were seeing, as they chanted ‘Richie Barker’s Blue and White Army’ at the top of their voices.
They almost had a goal to cheer on 75 minutes when Jervis met Wallace’s pass and diverted the ball agonisingly wide.
Chesterfield did push forward in the closing stages in an attempt to find the winning goal that would send them further clear at the top of the table.
But Pompey held on for a deserved point that saw them climb to 15th and extend the gap to the bottom two to seven points.
Chesterfield (4-2-3-1): Lee; Darikwa, Evatt (c), Cooper, Humphreys; Morsy, Ryan; Gardner (O’Shea 76), Banks (Richards 72), Roberts; Doyle (Gnanduillet 82)
Booked: Morsy, Darikwa
Subs not used: Dunbavin, Hird, Smith, Togwell
Pompey (4-1-4-1): Carson; Devera, N’Gala, Chorley (c), Shorey; Diagouraga; Wallace, Padovani, Fogden, Holmes; Jervis (Agyemang 90+1)
Subs not used: Smith, Bradley, Painter, Ertl, Racon, Harris
Referee: Mark Brown
Attendance: 5,807 (547 Pompey fans)