Pompey’s inconsistency this season continued with a 2-0 defeat at Scunthorpe.
Former Blues targets Lee Novak and Duane Holmes bagged first-half goals for the Iron in a deserved victory for the hosts at Glanford Park.
Scunthorpe had two early sights on goal, with Paddy Madden flashing an effort past the far post on six minutes, before Novak’s lobbed effort in the 10th minute struck the bar.
But the former Huddersfield striker - linked with Pompey last summer - made no mistakes two minutes later.
Jordan Clarke’s cross teed up Novak inside the box, who buried his effort beyond a helpess Luke McGee.
Oliver Hawkins missed a gilt-edged chance to get his side level from close range on the half-hour mark when he headed Jamal Lowe’s inviting cross wide.
Scunthrope made Kenny Jackett’s men pay for the miss in the 32nd minute.
Dion Donohue failed to clear Lewis Burtoid’s cross from the left and Holmes fired home to double the hosts’ lead.
Graham Alexander’s men almost made it game, set and match one minute before the break when Holmes fluffed his lines from close range.
Pompey were better after the restart but lacked penetration and Scunthorpe always looked comfortable.
The Blues’ best chance of the second half came on 86 minutes when Lowe attempted to squeeze one home from a tight angle, but keeper Matt Gilks saved well.
Jackett’s troops deserved defeat and they have still yet to record back-to-back wins this season.
The manager said they have to learn from their mistakes.