Portsmouth 3-3 Morecambe

Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
Morecambe boss Jim Bentley.
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Jayden Stockley’s header five minutes into stoppage time broke Morecambe hearts as The Shrimps saw a three-goal lead slip away at 10-man Portsmouth on Saturday.

Goals from Tom Barkhuzen, his first for the club, Alan Goodall and Andy Fleming inside the first 40 minutes stunned Fratton Park.

But a Gary Roberts brace either side of the break then set up a grandstand finale.

Enda Stevens’ red card 20 minutes from time didn’t halt the Pompey charge with Stockley levelling the score with time almost up to ensure Paul Cook’s side stayed unbeaten this season.

Portsmouth started the brighter but it was Barkhuizen who gave the Shrimps lead on 11 minutes completely against the run of play with a stunning solo goal.

On his first start as a permanent member of Jim Bentley’s squad the wide man picked up a pass from Andy Fleming on halfway and drove at the Pompey defence, beating two poor challenges before hammering past Brian Murphy from just inside the area.

The hosts were immediately back on the front foot though, Roberts shooting narrowly wide from 15 yards with Barry Roche beaten.

But The Shrimps continued to have sights of goal on the counter, Jamie Devitt bringing a save from Murphy with a free-kick from 30 yards.

They didn’t have to wait long to double their advantage though, Goodall heading home the resultant corner from Devitt at the near post.

Relive the game with our Shrimps Live blog.

Despite their frailties defensively, Pompey kept coming forwards, Kyle Bennett and Gareth Evans both bringing saves from Roche.

But they continued to leave the door open at the back, Aaron Wildig seeing a delightful chip from 20 yards come back off the bar before he should have made it 3-0 10 minutes before the break.

A neat move involving Devitt and Shaun Miller released the former Shrewsbury man free on goal 12 yards out but he could only drag his shot wide.

It was soon forgotten as Fleming got Morecambe’s third on 38 minutes. After Pompey allowed Devitt to cross from the right the advancing Fleming was on hand to poke the ball home from close range at the back post.

The hosts however made sure it was game on at the break with Roberts picking himself up after being fouled by Goodall 20 yards out to curl in a free-kick that Roche got a hand to but couldn’t keep out four minutes before half-time.

As expected it was Pompey who came out on the front foot but a lot of their play was sloppy, Matt Tubbs the closest to a goal early in the second period, the striker heading inches wide of the post.

Despite their onslaught making a stuttering start the hosts reduced the arrears to just one on 64 minutes.

From a short corner Roberts was allowed to drift in from the right and fire a deflected shot from 20 yards beyond Roche.

It was set to be a backs to the wall finale but The Shrimps’ cause was helped on 71 minutes when the hosts were reduced to 10 men, Stevens shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on Aaron McGowan.

But it was Pompey who continued to make the running in search of an equaliser Adam McGurk heading wide when he should have done better and Bennett bringing a save from Roche with a shot from 20 yards.

Matt Clarke then saw a header tipped over by Roche before Jayden Stockley’s shot was blocked by The Shrimps stopper as the visitors defended for their lives.

Adam Webster perhaps had the best chance but could only put a free header over the bar.

At the other end subs McGowan and Lee Molyneux had chances to settle the game but couldn’t test Murphy.

It was left for Stockley to have the final say producing a diving header to convert Webster’s cross in the 95th minute.

Portsmouth: Murphy, Davies (Webster 74), Burgess, Clarke, Stevens, Atangana, Doyle (capt), Evans (McGurk 79), Roberts, Bennett, Tubbs (Stockley 70). Subs not used: Jones, Haunstrup, Hollands, Chaplin.

Booked: Burgess, Stevens. Sent Off: Stevens

Morecambe: Roche, Beeley (capt), Dugdale, Parrish, Wilson, Goodall (Kenyon 47), Fleming, Devitt, Wildig, Barkhuizen (Molyneux 56), Miller (McGowan 67). Subs not used: Thompson, Mullin, Bailey, Ryan

Booked: Roche, Beeley

Referee: Roger East

Attendance: 16,052 (69 away)

Relive the game with our Shrimps Live blog.

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