Thomas Gaardsoe prevented Portsmouth from re-opening a five-point lead at the top of the Division One table by netting an equaliser for Ipswich in a thrilling 1-1 draw at misty Fratton Park.
Leicester had closed to within two of Harry Redknapp`s leaders by winning at Brighton last night but they looked like pulling clear again when Svetoslav Todorov scored his 12th goal of the season in the 19th minute.
However, Ipswich showed they are in a false position in the bottom half of the table by matching the home side and it would not have been undeserved if they had left with a victory.
In the style typical of a Joe Royle side, Ipswich made it clear from the outset that they would not let Portsmouth play their attractive brand of football and the visitors had Tommy Miller booked in the first minute for a foul on Nigel Quashie.
The spoiling tactics certainly worked in the early stages as Pompey were limited to only a Lassina Diabate shot which flew over the crossbar, while the midfielder from the Ivory Coast made a more negative contribution in the 14th minute when booked for a bad foul on Jamie Clapham.
But three minutes later, Portsmouth showed their quality. Todorov had a shot beaten away by goalkeeper Andy Marshall but the pressure was maintained and when Matthew Taylor sent the ball in again, the Bulgarian converted from close range.
The goal stung Ipswich into some attacking of their own and four minutes after they had gone behind, Pablo Counago hit the crossbar when latching onto a cross from Hermann Hreidarsson, who was later cautioned for a challenge on Todorov.
Counago`s strike partner Richard Naylor was equally unlucky after 33 minutes when he also struck the woodwork with a left-foot volley, but then should have done better than putting the ball wide as he connected with a Fabian Wilnis centre.
After Portsmouth`s Hayden Foxe had become the fourth player shown the yellow card five minutes before the break, Steve Stone, signed by the hosts on a free transfer from Aston Villa this week, and Paul Merson both went close to doubling the lead.
At the start of the second half, Ipswich continued to press for an equaliser, Miller making poor contact with a cross by Gaardsoe, who nine minutes after the restart became an unlikely hero for the Tractor Boys.
The Danish defender`s downward header from Jim Magilton`s corner bounced past goalkeeper Shaka Hislop and into the net.
Wilnis made fine blocks from Taylor and Todorov as Portsmouth tried to regain the lead and Deon Burton, little of whom had been seen previously, headed wide when well placed.
It was exciting end-to-end stuff and after Marshall had held a header from Arjan de Zeeuw, his opposite number Hislop brilliantly tipped the ball round the post from a shot by Ipswich substitute Marcus Bent and then superbly turned a Hreidarsson header over the crossbar.
But despite the waves of attacks, neither side could secure three points and Ipswich had Chris Makin sent off near the end for two bad fouls on Todorov and substitute Mark Burchill.