Boss discusses another frustrating afternoon
Defeat to Southend stretched Pompey’s winless run to eight matches.
It looked like the Blues’ fortunes might be on the turn when Adam Webster headed them in front midway through the first half.
But Ryan Leonard immediately took advantage of some slack defending to fire the visitors level.
And Joe Pigott’s strike then took a wicked deflection off Paul Robinson after the break as the Shrimpers forged ahead.
Pompey created plenty in a breathless end to the game, but could not take advantage of Barry Corr’s red card – and were even reduced to 10 men themselves in stoppage-time when Paul McCallum was dismissed for violent content.
Instead Andy Awford was left to rue another case of his side failing to take enough of their chances.
The Blues boss said: “It was an incredibly frustrating afternoon – there are fine lines in this game.
“I can’t say that we deserved to win it because we didn’t do enough, but I’m not sure we deserved to be beaten.
“The stats tell you that the teams who score the first goal normally go on to win the game.
“But their equaliser kicked the stuffing out of us because it was our best spell of the match before that.
“Then for the second we thought Robbo had made the block, but the ball goes up and over Jonesy and into the net.
“We had quite a few chances towards the end and when you’re doing well those drop for you, but when you’re not they don’t.
“That’s the way it is at the moment, but we have to get on with and keep working as hard as we can.”
The result saw Pompey drop to 18th in the League Two table and Awford conceded that it is a difficult spell.
He said: “I understand the pressures of the job – that comes with being a first team manager.
“We haven’t won in an awful long time now and it’s a tough time for everybody.
“We have to keep believing that things will turn – all we can do is stick together like glue. That’s the message to everyone at the club.”