Caolan Lavery endured a bittersweet afternoon as his potential matchwinner became nothing more than a consolation.
The Pompey loanee netted a first goal for the club when he steered home Enda Stevens’ 20th minute left-wing cross against Notts County.
As a team defensively even since I have been here have been very strong, I can’t remember teams having too many chances against usCaolan Lavery
It was an advantage the visitors were to enjoy for only three minutes as Graham Burke levelled with a half-volley.
Adam Webster would strike the inside of the post, but it was Alan Sheehan’s fortuitous free-kick which settled the issue 2-1 in the Meadow Lane club’s favour.
For Lavery it was a first goal since netting for Sheffield Wednesday in a 1-1 draw against Charlton in April.
Yet the occasion was a defeat, nonetheless.
He said: ‘Enda put a great ball across the box, I saw it was going across the near post so got across my man and luckily was there to tap it in.
‘Every striker who comes into a new team wants to score as early as possible and to do it in front of the travelling supporters was brilliant, but unfortunately Notts County scored not too long after and it made the game wide open again.
‘Then to concede the second goal like we did was very disappointing.
‘We knew they would go at us and give us a good game and that played into our hands a little bit with the space in behind the back line. I think we executed that quite well in the first 15-20 minutes and deservedly went ahead.
‘Then they scored and it was back to square one.
‘It was a free-kick from the half-way line and Sheehan has whipped it in, everyone has missed it and the keeper’s set to try to save it from a header he thinks is coming in and unfortunately it just bounced past everyone into the net.
‘That’s football, that’s lucky, sometimes you get it sometimes you don’t. Unfortunately on Saturday we didn’t get it, but next week hopefully we can do.
‘As a team defensively even since I have been here have been very strong, I can’t remember teams having too many chances against us.
‘So it’s disappointing defensively we didn’t get our head on the ball and clear it.
‘You can do things to stop it, just unfortunate for whatever reason nobody got their head on it and it just bounced in.’
The defeat ensured Pompey slipped to third in League Two, with Oxford United’s 5-1 win at Stevenage seeing them leapfrog over.
Elsewhere, they are now seven points off leaders Plymouth, who triumphed 2-0 at home to Morecambe.
Irrespective of Saturday’s result, Lavery felt the Blues impressed against a side who have now won six of their last seven at home.
He added: ‘They didn’t really test us too much, I can’t really remember Murph having too many saves to make if I am honest. I felt we were in control of the game for large parts of it, but it is creating those chances to put the game to rest.
‘I thought we did quite well, created a good few chances and put a lot of crosses into the box. I don’t think we can be too disappointed with how we played, just disappointed with result.’