Havant & Waterlooville 1 – 1 Portsmouth
Doyle on target at Westleigh Park
Michael Doyle netted on his debut as Pompey drew 1-1 with Havant & Waterlooville in their opening friendly at a sunny Westleigh Park.
The visitors had to fight from behind after Adrian Clifton had emphatically headed home before the break.
The Blues looked more dangerous in the second half and Doyle’s finish ensured a share of the spoils.
Boss Paul Cook used 22 players to give most of his first-team squad a work-out against the National League South opposition.
New signings Adam Barton (groin) and Adam McGurk (thigh) were left out as a precaution, while triallists Connor Randall, Gareth Evans, Ben Davies and Theo Robinson were all given a chance to impress.
It was the Blues who were first to threaten with Evans whipping in a cross that Hawks keeper Ryan Young did well to claim.
Randall then found Tubbs in the box, with the striker’s deft flicked header flying inches past the post.
And Christian Burgess was almost an unlikely goal hero, waltzing past a couple of challenges before scuffing a shot straight at Young.
But it was hosts who broke the deadlock midway through the half when Clifton converted Ben Swallow’s free-kick with a bullet header that left Michael Poke helpless.
Pompey were trying to build patiently from the back and enjoyed plenty of possession, but they were not really troubling the Hawks defence.
Jayden Stockley and Tubbs did combine well on 35 minutes, only for the latter to scuff his shot wide.
The striker did do better just before the interval, but his snap-shot was beaten away to safety by Young.
Half Time: Hawks 1 Pompey 0
Cook made 10 changes at the break, with Burgess the only player to remerge after the interval.
And – after surviving an early scare when Matt Paterson fired narrowly wide – the new-boys soon began to take control.
It took a brilliant save from Young to deny Gary Roberts, with the keeper managing to divert his shot over the crossbar.
But DOYLE did level the scores on 48 minutes, driving home from the edge of the box after Kyle Bennett had diverted a corner into his path.
The midfielder almost grabbed another moments later, just failing to find the target following a neat pass from Conor Chaplin.
It was Bennett who was next to go close on 59 minutes, but his header was expertly tipped onto the bar by Young.
The Hawks were struggling to remain on level terms, although they were almost gifted a goal when Adam Webster hit a free-kick back to Paul Jones and the ball bobbled just wide.
But Roberts then almost netted at the right end and Roberts really should have found the target following a mazy run from Theo Robinson.
The action started to wind down after such a frenetic opening, although it was still the visitors looking most likely to add to the scoring.
But they were unable to find another goal as the game petered towards its conclusion.
Hawks: Young (c); Strugnell (Medway 77), Molyneaux (Saunders 46), Harris (Dutton 46), Cummings (Blanchett 46); Swallow (Mullings 46), Donnelly (Kimber 77), Stock (Ridge 86), Ciardini (Gale 46); Clifton (Paterson 46), Morgan (Hayter 46)
Goals: Clifton 21
Pompey: Poke (Jones 46); Randall (Davies 46), P.Robinson (c) (Webster 46), Burgess (Nilsen 77), Haunstrup (Stevens 46), Evans (Chaplin 46 (Tollett 86)), Atangana (Doyle 46), Hollands (Close 46), Naismith (Bennett 46); Stockley (Roberts 46), Tubbs (T.Robinson 46 (Hassan 86))
Goals: Doyle 48