Portsmouth walked into this match unbeaten against a Shrewsbury side who hadn’t won in their opening six. Confidence was high among the Pompey faithful, sadly what many thought would be a rollover turned into a rescue with Pitman converting a late penalty to salvage a point.
The blues started positively but it didn’t take long for Shrewsbury to get a good hold early on. The Shrews failed to convert a number of good chances. The best fell to Lenell John-Lewis who seemingly split Clarke and Burgess after a poor loss of possession, his early shot from the edge of the box flying just off target. Both sides had their chances in the first half but the away side went in confident after a dominant but fairly dire first half.
After a poor first period Andre Green and Ben Thompson made way for David Wheeler and Ben Close. Portsmouth kicked off and started the second half strong, the addition of Wheeler boosted efforts in the final third but with Hawkins struggling to make an impact Pitman replaced him with 25 minutes to go. Following Pitman’s entry Shrewsbury seemed to find their rhythm switching play to both Gilliead and Whaley who were both finding success against the Pompey full backs. With 15 minutes to play the away side bought on Rangers loanee Greg Docherty. The 22 year old came on and within a minute the ball was played over the top, Burgess failed to deal with it setting up Docherty to volley home with his first touch. Shrewsbury having given a good account of themselves had a few more chances but seemed to shut up shop with 10 minutes to go inviting pressure. Lowe and Pitman fronted the fightback with mazey runs and good link up play. The final 10 was full of Pompey shots and penalty shouts with heavy handed defenders trying to hold the three points they were so close to securing. It wasn’t until the 87th that the away sides clumsy defending cost them when Beckles tripped Lowe in the box. Pitman stepped up and fired home confidently to level it.
The game ended 1-1. Not enough to lift the Shrews from the bottom four and not good enough for Pompey to take top spot. Peterborough continued their good run with a late winner at Southend, making next week’s fixture a tense one as a win takes us top.