A dramatic late goal helped Barnsley earn a point at Fratton Park this afternoon.
The Reds had to show their fighting spirit at Portsmouth to come away with a deserved share of the spoils in this one.
It wasn't one for the football purists out there, with the hosts happy to look long and build off target-man Colby Bishop, and whilst Michael Duff's side were direct themselves at times, after a scrappy opening to the game it was the Reds who began to carve out the better chances.
A corner from Herbie Kane towards the front post was met by Adam Phillips and his header flashed just wide of the goal, before Luca Connell recycled the ball and teed up Jordan Williams to drive one from the edge of the box, only to see Marlon Pack throw himself in the way of the ball.
The home side thought they'd taken the lead with their first real foray into the box as Michael Jacobs' lovely pass over the top sent Bishop through on goal who finished with aplomb only to see the assistant referee's flag raised to his right-hand side.
Two huge moments soon followed, with Phillips seeing a cute lobbed effort fingertipped onto his crossbar by Matt Macey, and then just before the half-hour mark, a neat touch from Max Watters sent his strike partner, Devante Cole bursting through towards goal but the frontman shot straight at the 'keeper one-on-one.
Pack was next to try his luck for Pompey after another well-worked move down their right flank resulted in a loose ball dropping for the former Bristol City midfielder, but his effort lacked direction, falling well away from Brad Collins' goal.
The Reds' number 44 had a second opportunity inside the box when Liam Kitching and Kane combined nicely to find the striker 14 yards out and to the left of the goal but Cole's strike was wild and over the bar.
As the first half petered out somewhat, Williams had to remain alert as he slid in to deny Jacobs a free shot from inside the area after Owen Dale had again pulled a low ball across the box from that right wing.
HALF-TIME: Portsmouth 0-0 Barnsley
It wasn't an ideal start to the second half, as in the 49th minute, Pompey broke the deadlock. A dangerous delivery on the right from Pack was slid into the net by Bishop for his 16th goal of a fruitful campaign.
That signalled a change in momentum, with the home side now dominant, backed by their home faithful and if it wasn't for some more covering inside the box by Williams, their lead could have been doubled.
Duff saw fit to throw on Josh Martin, as well as debutants, Oli Shaw, Jon Russell and Barry Cotter as the game seemed to be drifting away from the Reds.
Martin in particular looked bright and was involved in a 78th minute incident that had to be seen to be believed. With the midfielder bursting towards the box, he was clipped from behind by Joe Morrell but still got his pass through to Cole who scored underneath Macey in the Portsmouth net.
However, the referee, Andy Woolmer didn't play advantage and instead chose to blow his whistle for a foul, just as Cole had shot.
The Reds could have felt hard done by, but kept fighting and as the game edged towards injury time up stepped Barry Cotter to throw in a missile of a long-throw that was met at the front post by Thomas before taking a final nick off Kitching, looping into the far corner of the net. Cue the bedlam in the away end.
There was still time for Pompey to win a number of free-kicks around the Reds' penalty area, but all were defended superbly and it's back to South Yorkshire with a well earned and valuable point from Fratton Park.
FULL-TIME: Portsmouth 1-1 Barnsley
Collins, Williams (Cotter), B.Thomas, Andersen, Kitching, Cadden, Phillips (Martin), Connell (Russell), Kane, Watters (Shaw), Cole.
Unused: Isted, Oduor, Larkeche.
The Reds are next in action on Saturday 11 February, back at Oakwell as we welcome Cambridge United in a 3pm kick off.
Tickets are available by clicking the link below!
*After further inspection, the equalising Reds goal was later awarded to Liam Kitching who got the final touch.