Ian Foster felt plenty of positives emerged from Pompey reserves’ defeat to Everton.
Foster’s side tonight slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Southport in the Premier League Cup.
The Premier League side led 3-0 by the hour mark through goals from Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Calum Dyson and a Tom Davies own goal.
But substitute Harvey Bradbury reduced the deficit during a strong finish from the visitors.
And it was a scoreline which Foster felt flattered the Toffeemen.
Pompey’s first-team coach said: ‘I thought our lads played really, really well.
‘We were brave in possession, passed it really well, created opportunities to hurt Everton at times and finished the game very, very well.
‘Late on we dominated territorially, Everton pride themselves on trying to dominate the ball but couldn’t get it off us during the final 20 minutes.
‘Six of Everton’s players have appeared for the first-team, which shows how highly they are thought of and our lads did well against them.
‘I felt 3-0 flattered Everton at the time, we didn’t deserve that, but on the other hand, Everton had the players on the pitch who can do that to you.
‘Liam O’Brien also saved a penalty and it is credit to the boys they stuck at it and in the last 20 minutes were in the ascendancy.
‘It was a really good game, with both teams trying to play in the right manner.
‘We came under pressure at times, but our lads stuck at it in our structure and gave a really positive performance.
‘Take the result out of it and it is a really good experience our lads can take out of the match. I was pleased with them.’
Pompey: O’Brien, C.Davies, May, T.Davies, Haunstrup (McDowell 63 mins), Oxlade-Chamberlain, Close, Lalkovic, Bedford (Wakley 72 mins), Naismith, Chaplin (Bradbury 63 mins). Subs not used: Bass, Woodward.