Southend United 3 Pompey 3
Pompey embarrassed both themselves and their fans in front of the TV cameras yesterday when they strolled into a three-goal lead and then chucked it away!
Kenny Jackett changed formation to 4-4-2 and played Oli Hawkins alongside Omar Bogle up top. Anton Walkes replaced the injured Nathan Thompson at right back. Viv Solomon-Otabor made his debut in place of Ronan Curtis who dropped to the bench.
The first half hour saw Pompey breeze into a 3-0 lead with goals from Bryn Morris following good work down the right by Bogle and Jamal Lowe, Ben Close with a neat volley from the edge of the box and Hawkins tapping in after Morris hit the post. From there they should have cruised home and kick-started their promotion push.
But this is Pompey and they allowed their hosts into the game on thirty-six minutes when Simon Cox rose to head in his first and they could have added a second moments later when Turner sliced wide following a corner.
The second half started like the first but Pompey could not get the fourth goal to kill off Southend and as the half went on the home side came more and more into the game. Curtis and Gareth Evans replaced Solomon-Otabor and Bogle but on 76 minutes Morris tripped Kightly and Cox scored from the spot and inevitable on 88 minutes Cox again collected a pass and neatly tucked away his hat-trick.
Pompey created chances to pinch it at the death but two points had been blown away in the Roots Hall breeze.
Pompey (4-4-2): MacGillivray; Walkes, Burgess, Clarke (c), Brown; Lowe (Vaughan 88), Morris, Close, Solomon-Otabor (Curtis 71); Hawkins, Bogle (Evans 75)
Goals: Morris 8, Close 20, Hawkins 31
Booked: Walkes, Vaughan
Subs not used: Bass, Casey, Haunstrup, May
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 7,300 (1,239 Pompey fans)
Pompey now have four games in the next two weeks to define their season – Bristol Rovers, Barnsley, Bury and Bradford City. Surely only four wins will suffice!