IT WAS debut delight for Kenny Jackett, who toasted his maiden Pompey game in charge with victory.
The Blues, who also welcomed new owner Michael Eisner onto the pitch before the game, secured a 2-0 victory over Rochdale on their League One return.
After the visitors’ Keith Keane was sent off in the first half, Brett Pitman opened the scoring 34 seconds into the second period.
Pompey’s skipper then wrapped up the triumph in stoppage time after the Blues themselves had been reduced to 10-men following substitute Jamal Lowe’s dismissal.
Opening-day joy then for Jackett, who savoured getting off to a winning start.
The Blues manager said: ‘It’s a great feeling, obviously a big day for myself and a very proud one.
‘I am delighted to finish on the winning side which gets us off and running.
‘We have a new goalkeeper in Luke McGee, who is aged 21, so to get a clean sheet is great and something which will encourage him and give him something to build on.
‘Similarly, Brett Pitman up front getting two goals and somebody who can build on that performance and goals.
‘I felt the game at the start it was a little bit tight, a little bit nervous, Rochdale put two right up against us and stopped us passing out from the back, which made it difficult.
‘We needed to get our pattern going, our number 10 to drop in, link the play, our wide men to get some movement - and generally get our passing going,
‘In the second we did, but can pass the ball better than we managed.’