|Salisbury||2 – 2||Portsmouth|
Hunt and Roberts net for Blues
Pompey were twice pegged back by Salisbury and had to settle for a draw in their latest pre-season outing at the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
They created a host of chances and finally forged ahead through Noel Hunt, only for Justin Bennett to immediately equalise.
Gary Roberts’ restored the lead after the interval, but the Whites – despite rarely posing a threat – levelled again when Eddie Perrett headed home.
On a sweltering evening in Wiltshere, it was the hosts who made the brighter start and Pompey had to deal with a couple of free-kicks.
But Paul Cook’s side soon started to take control and Milan Lalkovic saw a shot deflected wide following a quick counter-attack.
Jack Whatmough then missed a great opportunity to break the deadlock on eight minutes, heading Gary Roberts’ cross wide after being left unmarked in the box.
Carl Baker has already shown that he is unafraid to have a pop, but appeared to leave his shooting boots at home with a couple of efforts that failed to find the target.
And Lee Angel then made a superb diving block to deny the midfielder as the Blues continued to threaten.
Hunt was looking a danger up front for the visitors and lifted a shot narrowly wide following a fine through ball by Roberts.
One fine flowing move involved Hunt and Baker, but Enda Stevens was unable to beat Whites keeper Charlie Searle after being teed-up.
Searle then made a stunning save to keep out a close-range Roberts header that seemed destined for the net.
But Pompey’s pressure finally paid dividends on 42 minutes when HUNT collected Stevens’ low cross and steered a shot inside the near post.
The lead lasted for just a minute, however, as a corner from Lewis Benson was emphatically headed home by Bennett.
There was still time for the Blues to go close before the break, but another superb Angel block denied Lalkovic.
Half Time: Salisbury 1 Pompey 1
Pompey continued to look bright after the interval and Roberts’ header was deflected wide after the midfielder had met Drew Talbot’s cross.
Baker then slid a pass across the face of goal that was just out of the reach of substitute Michael Smith.
It was Smith who probably should have restored the Blues’ lead on 54 minutes, but he failed to find the target with a close-range header.
Pompey were dominating and it came as no surprise when they did score a second soon after.
Lalkovic slid a pass through to ROBERTS in the box and the midfielder’s shot creeped over the line, despite the best efforts of the Salisbury back-line to get the ball clear.
Salisbury were not doing much to test trialist keeper Chris Kanopka at the other end, with an effort from Tony Lee almost going out for a throw.
But they found themselves level on 72 minutes with another goal from a corner, as Benson’s cross was headed back for Perrett to flick home.
Pompey had an immediate chance to restore their advantage, but Smith could not quite squeeze the ball in from a tight angle.
Kyle Bennett then fired over the bar after Stevens had been released down the left by Roberts and delivered a low cross into the box.
Pompey continued to dominate possession as the game drew to a conclusion, but were unable to convert that into a winning goal.
Salisbury (4-4-2): Searle (Childs 62); Colson, Wheeler (c) (Leigh 74), Angel, Perrett; Herbert (Jones 46), Whelan, Benson, Young (Masterton 59); Wright (Lee 46), Bennett (Flint 67)
Goals: Bennett 43, Perrett 72
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Konopka; Talbot, Whatmough, Burgess, Stevens; Rose, Doyle (c); Baker, Roberts, Lalkovic (Bennett 62); Hunt (Smith 46)
Goals: Hunt 42, Roberts 59
Subs not used: Bass, Barton, Haunstrup, Close, May, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Linganzi, Tollitt, Chaplin
Referee: Roger East