Kenny Jackett endured a frustrating return to the dugout as Portsmouth were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Gillingham.
Pompey’s automatic promotion hopes suffered a blow after Vadaine Oliver seized on a mistake by defender Lee Brown to cancel out Sean Raggett’s opener.
Jackett, back on touchline duty after undergoing minor surgery, said: “I felt we played well in the first half, hit the post and worked their goalkeeper as well.
“A defensive mistake got them back in the game but in the second half we lost our way a little bit and Gillingham had the better of the last 15 minutes.
“They had some good chances and my goalkeeper made a great save at the end. We were really pleased with a point by the time the game concluded.
“I did not think we did enough in the second half and that was slightly frustrating but we are still fourth in the league.”
Portsmouth started brightly and were unlucky not to take the lead after only two minutes when Marcus Harness fired against a post.
Tottenham loanee Harvey White also forced a brilliant save from Gillingham goalkeeper Jack Bonham with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area.
Pompey went in front 13 minutes before half-time when Harness ghosted past two defenders before crossing for Raggett to stoop and head past Bonham
Gillingham were gifted their leveller when Lee Brown tried to chest the ball back to goalkeeper Craig MacGillivray and Oliver nipped in to poke home.
MacGillivray made an excellent stop in first-half stoppage time to prevent Olly Lee putting the Gills in front from a well-struck volley.
The home side offered little in the second half and would have lost in the final seconds but for John Akinde failing to beat MacGillivray after being sent clean through.
Gillingham manager Steve Evans was frustrated not to come away with all three points after clocking up 18 shots.
Evans said: “You do not often come to Fratton Park and miss a host of chances and dominate the second half, which is what happened.
“We could have scored four or five in the second half but we didn’t. We should have got all three points.
“I thought 1-1 was fair at half-time but in the second half we were far superior in every department. I don’t remember ever coming here and my goalkeeper not having a save to make in the second half.
“We are in a little bit of a run where it is not happening for us but I cannot complain about the performance.
“We know when we play like that, we are capable of competing against the best and Portsmouth are one of the best.”
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