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22 September 2014

David Proud's take on Saturday's draw

Johnny Ertl was the unlikely goalscoring hero to snatch a hard-earned point for Pompey against a waspish Wycombe side.

For the first time this season Andy Awford named an unchanged starting 11, once again employing a 5-3-2 formation with Alex Wynter and the maturing Dan Butler as wing-backs.

So it was no surprise that they started with confidence – Scowen having an effort deflected wide in the first minute.  Wycombe had won three and drawn the other of their first four away games, conceding only one goal in the process.

Jones was the busier keeper: his shot-stopping has always been strong but there has been a marked improvement in his distribution.  However, in a frenetic opening Pompey matched them, with both Wallace and Butler whipping in dangerous crosses.

Despite Wycombe’s attacking intent, the best chance of the first half fell to Westcarr when a Jed Wallace cross bounced in front of him six yards out – he didn’t get his head over the ball and could only steer it into the Fratton End.

Wycombe started the second half brightly and broke the deadlock on 50 minutes. Robinson made an uncharacteristic mistake when he scuffed a clearance straight to Hayes, and in the resulting scramble Sam Wood deflected the ball past a helpless Jones.

Johnny Ertl had replaced Jack Whatmough at half-time, and Awford reacted immediately to the goal by pushing him into midfield, giving Dunne and Hollands more license to break forward.

It was Dunne who came closest to an immediate response with an instinctive shot on the turn from the edge of the box which thumped against Ingram’s crossbar.

The willing Storey replaced Agyemang, injecting pace into the forward line, and a becalmed Fratton Park began to stir.

On 65 minutes Pompey created their best chance but, sadly, it fell to Joe Devera who hammered the ball in the direction of Havant from only a yard out.

However, on 70 minutes a hopeful punt forward wrong-footed the otherwise excellent Jacobson. He could only deflect the ball behind. Dan Butler’s corner fell to Ertl on the penalty spot. The Austrian stopper swiveled like a ballerina and thundered the ball into the roof of the net.  It was beginning to look like Pompey’s cutting edge would once again cost them points.

Pompey now had the momentum and pushed for a winner. The Chairboys sat back, taking every opportunity to slow the game, and defended resolutely. Despite another slightly incoherent display Pompey remain in touch with the play-off places and the promise of plenty still to come. In truth it was a point won rather than two points dropped.

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