Blues can't break down Stanley
Pompey’s unbeaten start to the League Two campaign continued, but they had to settle for a point against Accrington.
In a game of few clear-cut chances, it was the Blues that created the better openings.
Gary Roberts and Matt Tubbs went closest to finding a winner, but both were denied by Stanley keeper Jason Mooney.
Paul Cook stuck with the same side that beat Luton in Pompey’s last league outing, meaning Jayden Stockley was preferred to Tubbs up front.
But there was no repeat of the electric start at Kenilworth Road, with chances few and far between in a laboured opening.
The hosts had a couple of dangerous crosses dealt with, while Brian Murphy was not overly troubled by Piero Mingoia’s glancing header at the other end.
Michael Doyle livened things up with an audacious effort from inside his own half on nine minutes, however.
The Blues skipper spotted Mooney off his line after the keeper had charged out to clear a long ball, but his shot flew narrowly wide.
There was a flurry of bookings midway through the half, two of which came following a scuffle in the middle of the pitch.
Referee Brendan Malone took the names of both Ben Davies and Sean McConville, although Pompey’s right-back could feel a little hard done by after being pinned down by his Accrington counterpart.
It was Stockley who had the game’s first decent opening on 33 minutes, volleying Kyle Bennett’s corner inches over the top.
Gareth Evans then went down in the box under pressure from Seamus Conneely, but Malone waved away his penalty appeals.
And Roberts came close to breaking the deadlock seconds before the break, beating his man before stinging Mooney’s fingertips with a fierce drive.
Half Time: Pompey 0 Accrington 0
There was a surprise at the start of the second half, with Murphy failing to reappear and Paul Jones replacing him between the sticks.
And he was called into action on 55 minutes, getting down to his right to push clear a snap-shot from McConville.
Pompey, meanwhile, were exhibiting plenty of neat build-up play, only to be let down by the final ball.
Cook made a double switch to try to improve their attacking fortunes on 66 minutes, with Stockley and Bennett making way for Tubbs and Conor Chaplin.
The latter soon did well to win a corner, which ended with Matt Pearson bravely blocking Doyle’s drive.
The hosts were still struggling to break down a resolute Accrington back-line, however, and the visitors went close to scoring themselves on the break, with a long-range effort from Josh Windass that flew narrowly over.
Chaplin got the crowd on his feet after shaking off his marker and surging towards goal on 80 minutes, but the teenager was unable to bend his shot past a defender.
Tubbs then met Davies’ cross with an acrobatic scissor kick that was flying into the net before Mooney stuck out a hand to palm the ball clear.
And Accrington formed a wall of red shirts in the closing stages to keep Pompey at bay and secure a share of the spoils.
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Murphy (Jones 46); Davies, Burgess, Clarke, Stevens; Atangana, Doyle (c); Evans, Roberts, Bennett (Chaplin 66); Stockley (Tubbs 66)
Booked: Burgess, Davies
Subs not used: Webster, Haunstrup, Hollands, McGurk
Accrington (4-4-1-1): Mooney; Pearson, Davies, Winnard, Buxton; Mingoia, Crooks (Procter 87), Conneely, McConville; Windass; Gornell (c) (Kee 74)
Booked: Winnard, Pearson, McConville, Buxton, Davies
Subs not used: Etheridge, Wakefield, Barry, Phillips, Bruna
Referee: Brendan Malone
Attendance: 15,745 (91 away fans)