VIDEO: Plymouth Argyle 1 Portsmouth 1: Match report
ARGYLE put in a hard-working performance as the Dockyard Derby at Home Park on Saturday afternoon ended in a draw.
The Pilgrims went in search of their first win in six matches and started strongly in the Sky-televised clash.
Playing a new 3-5-2 formation, Argyle took the lead in the 21st minute when captain Conor Hourihane punished some poor defending.
However, Portsmouth had a good spell as half-time approached and highly-rated winger Jed Wallace equalised in the 39th minute.
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Portsmouth remained on top at the start of the second period but Argyle dug deep and had some late chances themselves.
Substitute Tyler Harvey had a first-time shot well saved by Portsmouth 'keeper Trevor Carson as the game ended in a draw.
Argyle's starting line-up showed two changes from the 2-1 defeat at Swindon Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy on Tuesday.
Luke McCormick returned between the posts, in place of Jake Cole, and Durrell Berry was preferred to Andre Blackman.
There was a home debut for on-loan Brentford striker Paul Hayes.
He was partnered in attack by Reuben Reid, with Marvin Morgan ruled out of the match by a back injury.
There were first starts in League Two this season for defender Maxime Blanchard and midfielder Luke Young.
Argyle manager John Sheridan went with a 3-5-2 formation for the Dockyard derby.
Blanchard was one of the three central defenders, along with Neal Trotman and Curtis Nelson, with Durrell Berry and Jamie Reckord playing as the wing-backs.
Argyle had an early chance as midfielder Rommy Boco fired narrowly wide from 25 yards.
There was an even better opportunity for the Pilgrims in the seventh minute when a free-kick from Hourihane picked out Nelson inside the penalty area.
However, Nelson headed the ball off target from close range, which was a real let-off for Portsmouth.
The visitors went close to scoring in the 10th minute when striker John Marquis steered the ball wide of the far post after a left-wing cross from Ricky Holmes.
In an end-to-end start to the contest, an off-balance Holmes shot over the bar soon afterwards.
Argyle got Young on the ball quite a lot and he passed the ball well as the home side had plenty of possession.
The Pilgrims got their reward for that when they took the lead in the 21st minute after a dreadful mistake from Portsmouth's Yassin Moutaouakil.
The right-back, under no pressure, tried to chest down a deep cross to the far post from Boco, but made a complete hash of it.
The ball broke to Hourihane and he fired low past Carson for his second goal of the season.
McCormick produced a top-class save to push a powerful, swerving strike from forward John Marquis over the bar in the 35th minute.
Portsmouth had a good spell of pressure and Marquis had another chance when he headed over the bar after a left-wing cross from his strike partner Patrick Agyemang.
But an equaliser came in the 39th minute when an unmarked Wallace fired high into the net.
Moutaouakil's right-wing cross was aimed for Marquis and the ball was prodded clear by Trotman, but only as far as Wallace.
There was no Argyle player near him and he had the time to pick his spot and crash the ball past McCormick.
The Pilgrims had the last chance of an entertaining first half when Reid's 20-yard drive deflected off centre-back Sonny Bradley and went narrowly wide of a post.
Portsmouth started the second period on top, with Wallace having a shot blocked behind for a corner by Trotman in the 49th minute.
Bradley then headed off target for the visitors after a free-kick was aimed into the Pilgrims' penalty area by midfielder Ricky Holmes.
Argyle made their first substitution of the match in the 65th minute when Hayes was replaced by Lewis Alessandra.
It was a straight swap, with Alessandra playing a central attacking role alongside Reid and Boco in behind them.
Argyle struggled to get any of the ball, though, and Portsmouth pushed forward continuously.
The Pilgrims started to hit tpo many long straight balls rather than getting into wide positions and crossing from there.
Argyle did have a chance to restore their lead in the 73rd minute after a great run down the right wing from Alessandra.
His low cross found Reid at the far post but, under pressure from Moutaouakil, he could not apply the finishing touch.
Moments later, Marquis sent a looping far post header onto the top of the netting after he was picked out by Agyemang.
Boco made way for Harvey in Argyle's second substitution before Reid had a sidefooted shot easily saved by Carson.
Harvey was now up front with Reid, and Alessandra was playing behind them.
Carson safely held onto a curling 25-yard free-kick from Young as the game entered its closing stages and with the teams still level at 1-1.
Harvey then had a low first-time shot kicked away for a corner by Carson in the 87th minute after a good pass from Alessandra.
There were no further opportunities for either side to secure victory, leaving Argyle without a win in six games in all competitions.
ARGYLE: Luke McCormick; Maxime Blanchard, Neal Trotman, Curtis Nelson; Durrell Berry, Luke Young, Rommy Boco (Tyler Harvey 73 mins), Conor Hourihane, Jamie Reckord; Reuben Reid, Paul Hayes (Lewis Alessandra 65 mins).
Substitutes: Jake Cole, Andre Blackman, Guy Branston, Hamza Bencherif, Andres Gurrieri.
PORTSMOUTH: Trevor Carson; Yassin Moutaouakil, Bondz N'Gala, Sonny Bradley, Joe Devera; Jed Wallace, Johnny Ertl, Therry Racon, Ricky Holmes; Patrick Agyemang, John Marquis.
Substitutes (not used): Phil Smith (gk), Andy Barcham, Romain Padovani, Gavin Mahon, Shaun Cooper, Ashley Harris, Jack Whatmough
REFEREE: Stephen Martin (Staffordshire)
ATTENDANCE: 8,742 (1,405 away)
GOALS – Argyle: Hourihane 21 mins; Portsmouth: Wallace 39 mins