They were Pompey’s reserves in all but name.
nonetheless, Nicke Kabamba’s remarkable scoring streak stretched into another campaign.
I was through on goal, saw the keeper advance and thought to lift it over him. I had the confidenceNicke Kabamba
A Pompey XI were dispatched to Poole on Tuesday night in a bid to hand fringe players crucial match minutes.
In the absence of first-team regulars, Joe Gallen’s side ran out 6-3 winners against their National League South opponents.
Curtis Main and Ben Close both netted twice as the Blues recovered from falling 2-0 behind after only seven minutes.
Then there was Kabamba, who also scored a brace.
The 24-year-old registered in each of his opening five Pompey reserve appearances last term, following his arrival from Hampton & Richmond.
The remarkable run came to an end at Swansea in the semi-finals of the Premier League Cup.
But he was back on target at the Black Gold Stadium, effectively taking his tally to seven goals in seven second-string appearances.
Kabamba said: ‘When people look at the result they are going to think what a game it was. Two early goals changed the concept of the match and thankfully we managed to pull it back.
‘And it was great for me to get back scoring again.
‘My first goal was a great ball from Ben, who scooped it over the top of their defence.
‘I’ve made a movement and, as it came over, checked the lino and he hasn’t put the flag up, so I thought I’d continue and put it in. I looked over again and the flag was still down.
‘To be fair, we are a tight-knit group and you work with the strikers and have to talk to the midfielders, asking for what you want, whether to slip in behind or whatever. That is what Ben did.
‘As soon as you get your first goal that gives you the extra drive to get your second and you just continue. If you have the chance to shoot, you shoot, and the second goal was the perfect ball from Milan Lalkovic.
‘I was through on goal, saw the keeper advance and thought to lift it over him. I had the confidence.
‘Hopefully I can keep on scoring to show the manager what I can do.’
A third pre-season friendly victory for Pompey then, although they were facing defeat after seven minutes.
Kabamba added: ‘We didn’t start properly. They caught us by surprise and capitalised with two early goals.
‘We got told not to panic. If in that situation you panic and the opposition get a third it can change the whole complexion of the game.
‘But we managed to stick at it, everyone calmed down, we relaxed on the ball, kept it a bit longer and went on to win.’