Pompey held on to secure a Good Friday point at MK Dons, despite playing more than half the game with just 10 men.
Easter is often described as a movable feast – and the visitors’ fortunes certainly shifted in the first half.
They took the lead through Connor Ogilvie’s well struck volley, only for Joe Morrell to be sent off following an altercation in the Blues box.
Mo Eisa slotted home the equaliser after the break as the Dons poured forward, but they could not break down a stubborn defence again.
John Mousinho made two changes from the side that beat Forest Green on home soil the previous week.
Marlon Pack – who wore the captain’s armband – and Di’Shon Bernard were both handed first starts in almost two months.
Ryan Tunnicliffe and Clark Robertson dropped to the bench, where they were joined by the returning Joe Pigott and Reeco Hackett.
The game got off to a lively start and the home side had an early chance when Morrell brought down Eisa on the edge of the box.
He dusted himself down to take the free-kick, hitting a curling effort that was pushed around the post by a diving Matt Macey.
Pompey then had a chance of their own, as Sean Raggett made a firm connection with Michael Jacobs’ corner, only to send his header into the arms of Jamie Cumming.
They did break the deadlock on 14 minutes, however, thanks to an unlikely combination between two defenders.
A free-kick was played to Raggett and he whipped in a fine cross that was volleyed into the bottom corner by OGILVIE.
The large travelling faithful were making plenty of noise behind Macey’s goal, but the action started to fall flat.
MK Dons were passing the ball around nicely, but lacking any end product and Daniel Harvie and Conor Grant both wasted decent openings.
But the hosts were given a lift late in the first half, as the Blues were controversially reduced to 10 men.
Morrell tussled with Harvie on the turf from a Dons corner and referee Carl Brook called the Pompey man over to display a red card.
It left the Welsh midfielder and everyone associated with the Blues stunned, but they managed to see out the final few minutes before the break.
Half Time: MK Dons 0 Pompey 1
Mousinho made a change at the break, with Jacobs sacrificed for Robertson and the visitors switching to a back three.
But Macey was quickly called into action, diving full length to the right to turn Jack Tucker’s long-range strike around the post.
And the hosts remained on the attack, aiming to pin their opponents back deep inside their own half in search of a leveller.
Pompey were looking solid at the back, but struggling to maintain possession when they were able to break clear.
And their lead was wiped out on 65 minutes after a corner was worked to Paris Maghoma on the edge of the box.
His effort was blocked, but the ball fell for Eisa to drill in a low shot that Bernard could not stop from crossing the line.
There was more frustration for the visitors when Colby Bishop became the fourth player to be booked by Brook, for a foul that warranted no more than a free-kick.
MK Dons were looking to ramp up the pressure again and the impressive Raggett did well to get his face in the way of a Harvie effort.
Mousinho then added fresh legs to his midfield, with Tom Lowery making way for Tunnicliffe in the engine room.
The Blues were able to see out the closing stages with relative ease – and might even have snatched a stoppage-time winner.
Pack’s pass was laid off by Bishop for Pigott – on as a late substitute – to curl in a shot that clipped the top of the bar.
MK Dons (3-4-3): Cumming; Stewart (Grigg 55), Tucker, Lewington (c); Watson, Maghoma, McEachran, Harvie (Jules 90+5); Leko, Eisa, Grant (Holland 62)
Goals: Eisa 65
Subs not used: Ravizzoli, Lawrence, Devoy, Johnson
Pompey (4-3-3): Macey; Rafferty, Raggett, Bernard, Ogilvie; Lowery (Tunnicliffe 78), Pack (c), Morrell; Dale (Pigott 90+2), Bishop, Jacobs (Robertson 46)
Goals: Ogilvie 14
Sent off: Morrell
Booked: Ogilvie, Pack, Raggett, Bishop
Subs not used: Oluwayemi, Thompson, Hackett, Scarlett
Referee: Carl Brook
Attendance: 11,395 (4,171 Pompey fans)