Lee Bradbury believes Hawks gave the best account of themselves in three attempts against Pompey as they claimed a 1-1 draw.
The Hawks boss saw his side unable to cling on to their first-half lead but felt it was an encouraging display from his troops and took plenty of positives from the performance.
Bradbury said: ‘We have played Portsmouth three times since I have been here and that has to be the best effort yet.
‘That’s not being disrespectful to Portsmouth because they are a very good team.
‘I feel we have that bit more experience in the side this year which helped.
‘It was a good performance from us and I felt we got our shape right.
‘It was very pleasing because I felt we competed with them very well for an hour of the game.’
That experienced showed in the opening 20 minutes when the Hawks confidently passed the ball around on the carpet-like Westleigh Park pitch.
Brian Stock and Scott Donnelly showed all their experience and helped stifle Pompey’s ambitions, before new signing Adrian Clifton notched his second goal in two games – giving him the perfect start to his Hawks career.
‘It was a great ball in from Ben Swallow and Adrian attacked the ball well,’ said Bradbury.
‘He is a big, strong lad, who is hungry to do well.
‘I told the players that they have to make sure they trust each other with the ball and the one area we could have been better was our service to the front players.
‘After we scored we had a 10-15 minute spell when we had to be disciplined and we did well.
‘Portsmouth had a lot more of the ball in the second half and we had to work a lot harder.
‘First and foremost your striker is your first defender and we have worked hard to bring in players who are experienced and still hungry.
‘My players showed me that they are all happy to do that part of the game.’
Both teams made a number of changes in the second half and the Hawks found themselves under increased pressure.
During that period goalkeeper, and captain, Ryan Young made some impressive saves including a fantastic effort to turn a point-blank Kyle Bennett header onto the crossbar.
‘We all know what a good goalkeeper Ryan is and he just keeps maintaining his standards,’ said Bradbury.
The Hawks preparations continue tomorrow night with a visit to Southern League Swindon Supermarine (7.45pm).
– KEVIN RICKETTS