ANDY AWFORD admitted Pompey’s last-gasp heartache felt like a defeat following the 2-2 draw at Carlisle as he insisted: It’s tough to take.
The Blues boss saw his men concede inside 88 seconds of their Good Friday trek to Brunton Park.
They threw all sorts of bodies forward and we haven’t defended it as well as we should have at the deathAndy Awford
But after a poor opening 20 minutes, Pompey hit back with a much-improved display – and a wonder goal from Jed Wallace, plus Matt Tubbs’ poacher’s finish on the stroke of half-time.
The visitors looked on course for only their third away success of the campaign, but saw it ripped from their grasp five minutes into stoppage-time when Charlie Wyke stroked beyond Paul Jones.
And, understandably, it left Awford frustrated that his men has been unable to see the game out.
‘We’ve all been involved in games like that,’ said the manager.
‘I still remember a 5-5 draw at Oxford all those years ago. You never forget them. But we’ve been on both ends of it.
‘It’s a draw but feels like a defeat.
‘We’re pleased with what we’ve produced on the day.
‘It was a sluggish start but it was a good performance after those first 15 minutes.
‘But you don’t always get what you deserve in this game so we are disappointed.
‘We should have had all three points.’
Although Pompey dominated much of the second period, they were pushed deeper and deeper in the closing minutes as they attempted to hold out for the victory.
Awford also attempted to give his defence some extra protection in the final few minutes, with midfielder Danny Hollands replacing striker Matt Tubbs.
‘Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t,’ said Awford.
‘I thought we defended well but we were possibly too deep.
‘They threw all sorts of bodies forward and we haven’t defended it as well as we should have at the death.
‘We haven’t seen it out well enough so that is disappointing.
‘But four minutes of added time were put up on the board and then it is in excess of five when they score – that is a bit baffling to me.
‘I think the referee got that wrong. We can moan at the referee but you have got to win ugly sometimes.
‘With them coming at us, we could have put the game to bed a little bit earlier.
‘But the players have given their absolute all and the support was magnificent.
‘To bring nearly 800 fans so far – I’m just sorry we couldn’t hang on to give them a happier journey home.
‘The display was definitely up a couple of notches though.’