Portsmouth 1-1 Bournemouth

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton

Crisis-hit Portsmouth earned an opening-day draw with south-coast rivals Bournemouth at Fratton Park.

Pompey fielded a team of debutants and Izale McLeod's 25-yard low shot squirmed through the grasp of Cherries keeper Shwan Jalal to open the scoring.

Earlier, Wes Thomas hit the post for Bournemouth, who equalised late on when headed home from close range.

Jalal made up for his first-half mistake with several crucial saves.

But it was the Cherries who finished the stronger, with Pompey keeper Mikkel Andersen saving well from Wes Thomas and Josh Grabban late on.

Pompey saw all their senior players leave Fratton Park in the summer, as the administration-hit club look to avoid liquidation.

On Tuesday, they fielded a near-youth team in the Capital One Cup, with nine players under the age of 21.

Manager Michael Appleton brought in 10 new players on Thursday on short-term contracts and completed four loan signings in time for Saturday's League One opener.

And Appleton's team of 11 debutants looked as if they had been playing together for years as they took a deserved lead into the break.

McLeod could have increased their lead but shinned over from close range before the break, before he was denied by Jalal with only the goalkeeper to beat.

Pompey tired as the game wore on and Grabban should have done better when he latched onto keeper Andersen's parry from Thomas's shot.

But Grabban fired over and later saw an effort superbly tipped over the bar, before Barnard headed home a cross from Simon Francis.

Pompey pressed late on and Ashley Harris saw his effort crash back off the inside of Jalal's post as the game ended level.

Views from the dressing rooms

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Appleton encouraged by season opener

Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton tells BBC Radio Solent:

"I thought in the first half we were outstanding.

"It was as if we almost put too much energy into the first half an hour or so.

"That was the first opportunity today for the new players to meet, they've just literally walked into the dressing room, introduced themselves to the players and just got on with it."

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Mistakes happen - Paul Groves

Bournemouth manager Paul Groves talks to BBC Radio Solent:

"We knew it was going to be a difficult day with (Pompey) being able to sign players and from the atmosphere that the fans set we knew it would be tough out there.

"Top goalkeepers all make mistakes but it's how they respond and recover from that.

"If you take three strikers out of anyone's squad, it leaves a bit of a hole. I felt with Lee (Barnard) that he is good quality and a good character. He's proven at this level and he fared well in the game.

"I think we need to concentrate on what we've got in respect of trying to build a team."

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