Joel Ward's brave late header earned Portsmouth a point from an uninspiring south coast derby against Southampton.
Pompey had the only two decent chances of a drab first half, but both David Norris and Greg Halford shot wide.
The visitors went ahead when Rickie Lambert headed in his 17th goal this season from Daniel Fox's free-kick.
Guly do Prado twice almost added to Saints' lead with low strikes, but Ward headed in from close range after good work by George Thorne to rescue a draw.
Pompey were good value for their point, but having slipped behind on 62 minutes they seemed unlikely to be able to prevent their bitter rivals restoring their three-point lead at the top of the Championship table.
A tedious first half with plenty of endeavour and crunching challenges offered little in the way of quality, barring the odd flash of class from Southampton's Adam Lallana.
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The club top at Christmas have gone on to gain promotion to the Premier League in five of the last six seasons
A low bobbling strike from Norris and Halford's 20-yard free-kick were as good as it got in terms of goalmouth incident in the opening 45 minutes.
But things improved after the interval and Lambert looked the likely match-winner when he glanced in Fox's vicious, inviting free-kick.
Do Prado then spurned two good chances to wrap up the win, shooting wide with the first effort and seeing his second strike well blocked by on-rushing home goalkeeper Stephen Henderson.
It seemed inevitable that Saints would double their advantage, but it was Pompey who scored the second and final goal of the game when Ward jumped highest to head home Thorne's knock-back.
Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton said: "Joel can probably appreciate the importance of that goal more than the rest of the players. You could tell that with his celebration.
"Growing up as a Portsmouth lad and fan, he has probably dreamt about doing that for a while.
"He has popped up with a couple of goals recently, which is fantastic for him. He looks like he has a new lease of life about him."
Southampton manager Nigel Adkins said: "There are 10 or 15 teams with aspirations of getting into the Premier League. I just wanted to be in with a shout and be in the top 10. We would have been happy with that.
"We've led that race for over three months now. That shows we have a consistency about our play and we have good players.
"We play the right way and score a lot of goals. Our desire is to pick up more clean sheets and results away from home now."
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Live Text Commentary
Full Time The game is over, as the referee blows his whistle.90:00 +2:26
Richard Lambert concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen Henderson. Indirect free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.90:00 +1:01
Richard Lambert has an effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the right of the goal.90:00 +0:24
Corner taken right-footed by Adam Lallana from the right by-line, Jose Fonte takes a shot. Blocked by Joe Mattock.90:00 +0:15
The ball is sent over by Frazer Richardson, Joe Mattock makes a clearance.87:01
Richard Lambert produces a cross, clearance by Ricardo Rocha.86:41
Adam Lallana sends in a cross, Guly Do Prado takes a shot. Blocked by Joe Mattock.86:08
The ball is crossed by Frazer Richardson, clearance by David Norris.85:29
The official flags Ricardo Rocha offside. Kelvin Davis takes the indirect free kick.83:27
The assist for the goal came from George Thorne.83:27 Goal scored
Goal! - Joel Ward - Portsmouth 1 - 1 Southamp'n Joel Ward scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Portsmouth 1-1 Southampton.82:59
David Norris takes the outswinging corner,81:27
Shot by Morgan Schneiderlin from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.81:07
Guly Do Prado takes a shot. Save made by Stephen Henderson.79:12
The ball is delivered by Adam Lallana, Guly Do Prado produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.79:02
The ball is crossed by Frazer Richardson, clearance made by Joe Mattock.77:24 Substitution
Substitution Hayden Mullins leaves the field to be replaced by Marko Futacs.76:16
Kelvin Davis takes the indirect free kick.76:16 Substitution
Substitution Daniel Fox leaves the field to be replaced by Dan Harding.76:16
Unfair challenge on Jos Hooiveld by Dave Kitson results in a free kick.
Dean Hammond takes a shot. Stephen Henderson makes a comfortable save.72:34
David Norris concedes a free kick for a foul on Dean Hammond. Daniel Fox delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from right wing, Joe Mattock manages to make a clearance. Unfair challenge on Stephen Henderson by Richard Lambert results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.69:56
Frazer Richardson takes a shot. Blocked by Joe Mattock.65:41
The ball is sent over by Erik Huseklepp.63:59 Substitution
Substitution Liam Lawrence leaves the field to be replaced by Erik Huseklepp.62:36
Assist on the goal came from Daniel Fox.62:36 Goal scored
Goal! - Richard Lambert - Portsmouth 0 - 1 Southamp'n Richard Lambert scores a headed goal from inside the six-yard box. Portsmouth 0-1 Southampton.62:04
David Norris challenges Dean Hammond unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Daniel Fox,61:40
A cross is delivered by Frazer Richardson, clearance made by Joe Mattock.61:08
Frazer Richardson sends in a cross, Liam Lawrence gets a block in.59:55
Effort on goal by Adam Lallana from just inside the area clears the crossbar.59:17
Jos Hooiveld takes the free kick.59:17 Booking
Booking Joe Mattock goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.59:06
Unfair challenge on Richard Lambert by Joe Mattock results in a free kick.57:48
Morgan Schneiderlin takes a shot. Stephen Henderson makes a save.54:13
Unfair challenge on Adam Lallana by Greg Halford results in a free kick. Kelvin Davis restarts play with the free kick.53:41
Unfair challenge on Jos Hooiveld by Dave Kitson results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.52:27
Corner taken by Liam Lawrence.52:20
A cross is delivered by Joel Ward, blocked by Jose Fonte.51:21
Centre by Guly Do Prado, Effort on goal by Richard Lambert from 18 yards. Comfortable save by Stephen Henderson.49:46
Unfair challenge on Adam Lallana by Greg Halford results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Daniel Fox.49:10
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jason Pearce on Morgan Schneiderlin. Jose Fonte takes the indirect free kick.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +1:21 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.45:00 +0:26
Jose Fonte concedes a free kick for a foul on Joel Ward. Shot comes in from Greg Halford from the free kick.44:40
Hayden Mullins concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Cork. Kelvin Davis takes the indirect free kick.43:47
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Norris by Jose Fonte. Liam Lawrence delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from right wing, clearance made by Dean Hammond.42:12
David Norris has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the left-hand post.40:49
Inswinging corner taken by Daniel Fox, save by Stephen Henderson.40:44
Centre by Richard Lambert, clearance made by Greg Halford.40:04
Shot from just outside the box by Greg Halford goes over the target.39:08
Centre by Dave Kitson, clearance by Jos Hooiveld. George Thorne takes a shot. Frazer Richardson gets a block in.37:19
Adam Lallana produces a cross.35:41
Unfair challenge on Adam Lallana by Hayden Mullins results in a free kick. Daniel Fox takes the indirect free kick.34:46
Hayden Mullins concedes a free kick for a foul on Jack Cork. Kelvin Davis restarts play with the free kick.34:37
Liam Lawrence delivers the ball.33:40
The assistant referee flags for offside against Guly Do Prado. Free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.32:29
The assistant referee signals for offside against Guly Do Prado. Indirect free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.30:15
Jason Pearce restarts play with the free kick.30:15 Booking
Booking Jack Cork receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.30:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jack Cork on Dave Kitson.29:04
David Norris takes a shot. Kelvin Davis makes a save.28:49
The ball is swung over by Liam Lawrence, Frazer Richardson gets a block in.26:22
Dave Kitson fouled by Jose Fonte, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Henderson restarts play with the free kick.26:10
Adam Lallana delivers the ball, clearance made by Joel Ward.24:39
Unfair challenge on Guly Do Prado by Joe Mattock results in a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Richard Lambert from the free kick, save made by Stephen Henderson.23:19
The ball is swung over by Dean Hammond.23:09
Richard Lambert produces a cross, Jason Pearce manages to make a clearance.21:16
Centre by Joe Mattock, Joel Ward takes a shot. Kelvin Davis makes a comfortable save.20:38
Unfair challenge on Ricardo Rocha by Richard Lambert results in a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Stephen Henderson.19:47
The official flags Joel Ward offside. Indirect free kick taken by Kelvin Davis.17:28
Greg Halford fouled by Dean Hammond, the ref awards a free kick. Stephen Henderson takes the free kick.15:59
Corner taken left-footed by Daniel Fox from the left by-line, clearance by Dave Kitson.15:49
Morgan Schneiderlin produces a cross, blocked by Jason Pearce.13:42
The ball is delivered by Dean Hammond, Headed effort on goal by Richard Lambert from just inside the box goes harmlessly over the goal.10:28
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Dave Kitson by Daniel Fox. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Mattock.8:57
The ball is crossed by Frazer Richardson.7:15
Daniel Fox takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance made by Jason Pearce.7:07
Daniel Fox crosses the ball, Joel Ward manages to make a clearance.5:33
Corner taken by Adam Lallana, save by Stephen Henderson.5:28
Adam Lallana produces a cross, Joel Ward manages to make a clearance.3:32
The ball is crossed by Joe Mattock, clearance by Daniel Fox.0:53
Foul by David Norris on Jack Cork, free kick awarded. Jos Hooiveld takes the indirect free kick.0:00
The match begins.
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