Crawley Town managed to clinch a 0-0 draw against the odds against a rampant Portsmouth.
The well marshalled Reds defence held firm against the attacking threat of highly valued players such as Reds’ legend Matt Tubbs and won a point against a barrage of attacking play.
Reds made three changes to the side which lost 2-1 to AFC Wimbledon. In come Lee Barnard, Lewis Young and Joe McNerney for Matt Harrold, Roarie Deacon and Bryan Van Den Bogaert.
Crawley named just six out of a possible seven on the bench with Izale McLeod again not included in the squad for the fourth game in a row.
There were a few reunions with goalscoring hero Matt Tubbs leading the visitors’ line on his return to his former club.
Ohter former players Kyle Bennett looked a handful while ex Reds keeper Paul Jones was on the bench.
Sonny Bradley is now Reds capatin and looked determined in his new position of left back against his old club.
Portsmouth were boosted by a massive away following, having sold out their allotment of 1,700.
The visiting fans certainly made themselves heard, their army at the North End drwoning out the home support throughout much of the game.
During the first half it was virtually all Portsmoputh, dominating possession and forward moved.
However the Crawley defence remained solid and kept out everything which was thrown at them.
Michael Doyle launched an early shot over the bar, while Nigel Atangana put Tubbs through in a dangerous posiiton but keeper Freddie Woodman saved and gathered the loose ball.
At the other end Rooney luanched a shot from 30 yards which flew over the bar.
Lewis Young raced up the right for a useful attack but his final pass was too heavy the effort led to nothing.
Pompey made a change five minutes into the second half as their right back Ben Davies came off, apparently through injury and was replaced by Adam McGurk.
Crawley’s Gwion Edwards hit the side-netting in a rare home attack.
Tubbs scuffed a hot making an easy ball to collect for Freddie Woodman, and then had the ball in the net in a move which was ruled to be offside.
Portsmouth made two late substitutions as Tubbs and Kyle Bennett were replaced with Jayden Stockley and Conor Chaplin, Tubbs receiving applause from the home fans.
Crawley brought on Matt Harrold for Lee Barnard who was given a huge round of applause.
Young made a fine breakaway attack down the right and into the box, keeping clear of his marker but keeper Brian Murphy smothered the ball with his feet.
Portsmouth attacked in numbers until the end but could not break through the resolute Crawley defence as Reds managed to keep a fine clean sheet.
CRAWLEY: Woodman (GK), Walton, McNerney, Bradley, Edwards, Smith, Barnard (Harrold 62), Rooney (Bawling 75), Young, Ashton, Donnelly
SUBS: Preston, Fenelon, Deacon, Van Den Bogaert
POMPEY: Murphy, Davies (McGurk 50), Stevens, Burgess, Doyle, Tubbs, Roberts, Clarke, Bennett, Atangana, Evans.
SUBS: Jones, Webster, Stockley, Chaplin, Hollands, Haunstrup
REFEREE: Fred Graham
ATTENDANCE: 4003 (1,706 away)
Man of the Match: Simon Walton
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