LEE Barnard admitted he had relished his hostile Fratton Park reception as he had the last laugh by silencing the Pompey boo boys.

Cherries loan star Barnard headed home a debut effort 12 minutes from time to cancel out Izale McLeod’s strike and earn a 1-1 opening-day draw.

The 28-year-old Southampton striker converted a Simon Francis cross to spoil the party for crisis-hit Portsmouth at a raucous Fratton Park.

Barnard confessed the goal had been “a little bit sweeter” as it came after his Saints link had seen him jeered by a vociferous home crowd.

Speaking to the media post-match, he said: “It is all part of the fun and I don’t take it to heart. I thought it was a great atmosphere and I enjoyed it.

“I don’t need extra motivation – I am eager to play and just want to do well – but getting a bit of stick always makes you think you have got to keep them quiet. And, thankfully, I got the goal.

“Being from Southampton, it made it a little bit sweeter against Pompey with the stick I was getting.

“But it was just great to score for Bournemouth and get a vital point. It was a good start and I think we can build on it.”

Barnard’s equaliser saved Cherries from defeat against stricken Pompey – who had signed a team from scratch on Thursday amid serious financial and off-field problems.

Barnard said: “It is really sad to see them in this situation and I hope they pull through.

“Even though there is a rivalry with Southampton, it doesn’t matter. I am a football fan and don’t want to see Portsmouth go under.”

Signed on loan until January 1, Barnard was registered just in time to feature against Saints’ fierce local rivals.

Despite only meeting his new team-mates hours before the League One clash, the former Southend frontman made an immediate impact.

A proven goalscorer, Barnard is likely to get plenty of game-time at Goldsands Stadium with Frank Demouge, Josh McQuoid and Charlie Sheringham all sidelined through injury.

“I am here to play some games, score some goals and do well for Bournemouth,” said Barnard.

“I had a bad season last season through injury and missed a lot of football. I am just pleased to come to a good club that play good football.”