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Summary

  1. Roberts' penalty equalises for Portsmouth
  2. McNulty puts Pompey ahead
  3. Matt scores twice for Plymouth
  4. Pompey boss Cook sent to stands
  5. Portsmouth finished sixth in League Two, Plymouth fifth

Live Reporting

By Phil Shepka

All times stated are UK

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FT: Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth v Plymouth
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So we head to Home Park on Sunday with the game very much in the balance. See, the play-offs are all about the cliches.

Until then, we'll bring you all the play-off action across the Football League right here on the BBC Sport website. Let's just hope they are all as pulsating as tonight's match - which you can read all about in Adam Williams' report.

Thanks for following and your great memories of play-off matches of old.

Goodnight.

FT: Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

That was some way to start the play-offs, wasn't it? Well we can fix you up again tomorrow night as Sheffield Wednesday host Brighton in the Championship play-off semi-finals.

It will be interesting to see how the Seagulls respond after just missing out on automatic promotion at the expense of Middlesbrough after a final-day draw at the Riverside.

Brighton fans
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FT: Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth manager Paul Cook on Sky Sports: "It was a full-blooded game. It was a good game with two committed side who had a good go at each other."

About being sent off: "We shouldn't get involved like that on the bench and we apologise for that."

FT: Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

It must be said that, in my opinion, Plymouth were lucky not to have a man sent off.

Firstly, Jamille Matt's aforementioned clash with Michael Doyle in the first half, then Peter Hartley appeared to be the last man when he brought down Marc McNulty for the penalty, while Gary Sawyer's challenge on Danny Hollands was a little bit over the top.

FT: Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Plymouth striker Jamille Matt speaking to Sky Sports about his apparent head-butt on Michael Doyle: "It was a bit of handbags and Doyle will say the same. It was a bit of nothing really."

FULL-TIME

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

We do indeed head to Devon level on terms after a topsy-turvy match at a rocking Fratton Park.

Marc McNulty had put the hosts in front, but Jamille Matt's double had Plymouth ahead at the break.

However, Peter Hartley brought down McNulty in the area, and could have been shown a red for his troubles, allowing Gary Roberts to score from the spot.

Plymouth fans
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Portsmouth fans
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Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

That might be that. Portsmouth break after Plymouth lose the ball, but Gary Roberts fires well off target after cutting inside onto his left foot. Looks like we're heading to Home Park level.

SUBSTITUTION

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Plymouth are bringing off scorer of both their goals, Jamille Matt, for Craig Tanner.

There's four minutes added on for either side to find a winner.

Fratton Park
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Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth look the more likely to score, and Gareth Evans is next to try his luck.

He clearly watched Jamille Matt's second for Plymouth in the first half and fancied having a go at an overhead kick himself, but his effort is just wide, unlike Matt's.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth have a decent chance chance to go back in front when Ben Davies continues his run forward in put through on goal, but keeper Luke McCormick foils him. How vital that save might be.

YELLOW CARD

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

That was an unnecessary yellow card for Plymouth substitute Ben Purrington. He gives away a soft free-kick in the middle of the park with no danger, but keeps the ball away from the Portsmouth players for too long in the referee's eyes and is cautioned. Needless.

Portsmouth fans
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Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Davies' delivery is great but sub Adam McGurk can't keep his header down under pressure and it goes into the stand with the Plymouth fans.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Ben Davies has done so much running down the right-hand side and wins a corner for Portsmouth. Can he deliver?...

SUBSTITUTION

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Plymouth make their first change as Hiram Boateng comes off for Ben Purrington, while Portsmouth bring off goalscorer and penalty winner Marc McNulty for Adam McGurk.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

How would you play this game if you were either side? Would Portsmouth be happy to go to Home Park knowing they needed to win there to reach Wembley? Would Plymouth risk sitting back to see out the game?

In the meantime, Plymouth make a rare foray into the Portmouth half, but Gregg Wylde's cross is too long for Jamille Matt.

Portsmouth and Plymouth players vie for the ball
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Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth are keeping the ball well inside the Plymouth half but they can't seem to find a killer pass to prise open the visitors. Pompey's Gareth Evans does have a strike from outside the area after picking up a loose clearance, but his effort is way way way off target.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Adam Williams

BBC Sport at Fratton Park

"For the first real time, this tie has calmed down somewhat.

"However, it's still on a knife edge and you sense neither side wants to concede the next goal and be behind going into Sunday's return leg.

"Plymouth have seen less of the ball in this half, but have been content to let Pompey do the majority of the running."

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

After that Jervis injury, there just seems to be a bit of a lull in the game for the first time. I can't believe I've just said that given how this match has panned out so far.

Both sides will have the second leg in mind though.

Derek Adams
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Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

A break in play now as Plymouth winger Jake Jervis is down injured. That gives us all a chance to breath with just 20 minutes to go in this semi-final first leg.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Luke McCormick has looked more capable in the Plymouth goal, and he does very well to hold on to a dangerous Ben Davies cross even though he was stretching backwards.

Get Involved at #bbcfootball

What are your best or worst play-off memories?

#bbcfootball Best playoff memory 2009 @SkyBetChamp final for @burnley super Wade Elliott. UTC !!

My worst memory? Has to be every Sheffield Utd play-off final... Not even seen a goal!!! So much pain... #bbcfootball

Worst play off memory? Easy. Derby 0-0 QPR. 90th minute. Wembley Play-Off Final 2014. ZAMORAAAAA! Heartbreak #bbcfootball

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Plymouth are going to need to start testing debutant keeper Ryan Allsop in the Portsmouth goal if they want to regain the lead.

Allsop, who played against Pompey while on loan at Wycombe on 23 April, looked slightly suspect for the first Pilgrims goal but the visitors have failed to trouble him this half.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Adam Williams

BBC Sport at Fratton Park

"Referee Oliver Langford is bound to be the subject of a few post-match questions from the assembled press pack for both managers.

"Former Portsmouth striker and manager Guy Whittingham, summarising on BBC Radio Solent this evening, is among those to label that decision not to send Peter Hartley off for the foul that led to the penalty a strange one."

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Naismith is straight in on the action, but doesn't half scuff his effort from outside the area. Gareth Evans then plays in a superb ball but it is just in front of the onrushing home attackers.

As a sidenote, we've barely mentioned Plymouth striker Jamille Matt in this second half so far.

Jamille Matt
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SUBSTITUTION

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

First change for either side as Kal Naismith replaces Kyle Bennett, who earlier hit the post, for Portsmouth.

YELLOW CARD

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Oooof! Plymouth left-back Gary Sawyer has been given a yellow card, but for me, it could well have been red. Sawyer goes in over the top of the ball on Danny Hollands and catches the Pompey player on the top of his ankle.

Goes in the 'seen them given' category.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Plymouth goalkeeper Luke McCormick has to be at his best to deny Marc McNulty from distance this time. The hosts are certainly on top, but then again they were early in the first half and then look what happened.

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

The pace of this Dockyard Derby is being played at a stonking one. "You're not singing anymore" comes from the Pompey fans as they goad the Plymouth supporters.

It must be said, after looking at replays, Peter Hartley appeared to be the last man as he brought down Marc McNulty for that penalty. Red card?

Portsmouth fans
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GOAL (Roberts)

Portsmouth 2-2 Plymouth

Gary Roberts steps up and absolutely belts it into the top corner of the net. Fratton Park is rocking again and this game has taken another twist.

Gary Roberts celebrates
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PENALTY TO PORTSMOUTH

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth have the chance to get back into the game from the penalty spot as Marc McNulty jinks his way into the area past Peter Hartley, but the Plymouth centre-back hauls him down and earns a yellow card for his troubles.

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

I wonder what words manager Paul Cook said in that dressing room at half time? Whatever it was, they appear to be working as a fine run from Kyle Bennett is halted only when his shot is blocked. Portsmouth are on front foot.

Get Involved at #bbcfootball

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

Am an Argyle fan but Matt's lucky to be on the pitch, not complaining though My nerves are shot #bbcfootball

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

Portsmouth midfielder Gareth Evans has the first effort of the second half as his strike from outside the area sails over the bar. He probably should have hit the target given how much space he had.

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

We're back under way at Fratton Park as the floodlights begin to kick in. If the second half is anything like the first, we're in for an absolute belter.

Get Involved at #bbcfootball

What are your best or worst play-off memories?

#bbcfootball Best play-off memory Superbrett's toe poke Wembley 2010 #HollowaysTangerineArmy

#bbcfootball Best play off memory: Torquay 2-0 Cambridge 2008/09 season.

Worst Losing at home to Swindon in L1 a few yrs back on penalties. BEST 4-4 v Sunderland winning 7-6 on Pens in 98'.What a day!#bbcfootball

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

The main controversial moment of the half came after Plymouth striker Jamille Matt tangled with Danny Hollands and Michael Doyle got himself involved. 

After Matt and Doyle got to know each other a bit better, the Pilgrims man then moved his head forward into the back of Doyle's, but the referee did not take any action.

Get Involved at #bbcfootball

What are your best or worst play-off memories?

Gary Roberts' 7th consecutive season appearing in the play offs #bbcfootball

When Bobby Zamora hit that injury time winner in 2014. I still haven't watched that goal back to this day. Heartbreaking #bbcfootball

#bbcfootball only play-off final, I've been to, Reading vs Swansea, 3-0 down at half time, Jem Karacan hits the post at 3-2, we lost 4-2 :(

HT: Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

Adam Williams

BBC Sport at Fratton Park

"Portsmouth guilty perhaps of being a little too elaborate in their build-up play towards the end of that half.

"Plymouth looking a well-organised and patient unit off the ball as well as a threat coming forward on the counter.

"Will a clearly agitated Paul Cook be able to keep his composure in the dressing room at half-time and deliver a rousing team talk to get his side back in it?"

HALF-TIME

Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

Well you can't say that was an uneventful first half.

Marc McNulty had put Portmouth ahead, but Jamille Matt, who some may say is lucky to be on the pitch for his altercation with Michael Doyle, has scored twice to give Plymouth a half-time lead.

Not to mention, of course, Pompey boss Paul Cook and Plymouth coach Paul Wotton getting sent off for handbags on the sidelines. Naughty Pauls.

Paul Cook
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Portsmouth 1-2 Plymouth

Second Pompey player into the book as Adam Barton brings down the pacy Jake Jervis on the right-hand side of the area. Graham Carey's free-kick, though, hits the wall.