The points were shared between Team Solent and Portland United on Saturday afternoon in a feisty encounter that saw both teams reduced to ten men.
The game started off end to end, with both teams keen to get an early goal. But it was Solent who came closest to opening the scoring when Jim Orvis had his drilled shot tipped just past the post in the sixth minute.
Orvis continued to cause problems down the right-hand side and he delivered a brilliant cross in the 12th minute which was dealt with by Portland keeper Sean Lillington.
The Spark made the pressure count in the 26th minute when Tyrell Mitford calmly slotted it past a helpless keeper, whose fingertip touch was not enough to prevent the opener.
Solent had a chance to double their lead on the half-hour mark when Jemal Wiseman nearly capitalised on a mistimed back pass from Portland, but his attempt lashed the side-netting.
The Test Park outfit went into the break a goal up after an end to end the half, and the second 45 started off the same with both sides going at it from the whistle.
The students anticipate a free kick. (Credit – Tom Mulholland)
Portland began to put the pressure on and they were inches away from an equaliser just after the hour mark. Sean Bessant rattled the woodwork with a free kick from an edge of the box and the rebound fell straight back to Portland who forced a brilliant reaction save from Ben Morella.
The Blues kept the pressure up and in the 70th minute, they forced an instinctive clearance off the line from Solent as they flicked a header on at the near-post, from a corner.
United were reduced to ten men in the 75th minute when Billy Mitchell was shown a second yellow for a second mistimed tackle in midfield.
A cold day in Hampshire as James Taylor wears the extra layers. (Credit – Tom Mulholland)
Tempers continued to flare as with only ten minutes to go Solent captain Curtis Thorn was sent off for a second bookable offence.
The team in red missed their skipper as only two minutes after the dismissal, Portland notched a late equaliser. Ryan McKechnie leapt over the Solent back four and headed home to make it 1-1.
Solent will be disappointed to drop two points after leading for much of the game, but they can take positives out of a clear improvement over their 6-1 loss in the reverse fixture in August.