Pompey Academy’s losing run continued with a dramatic 4-3 loss at Exeter City.
But coach Mikey Harris praised the character of his players for their performance in a see-saw clash packed with action.
The Blues delivered a lacklustre opening which saw them fall 2-0 down inside eight minutes.
Poor defending was behind the opener before an unfortunate slip from keeper Alex Bass gifted the Grecians their second goal.
Pompey responded well and created a number of chances before Kaleem Haitham reduced the arrears five minutes before the break with some classy footwork and a curled finish.
A moment of controversy on the stroke of half-time gave Exeter their third, however, when an offside goal was allowed to stand.
Pompey regrouped at the break and delivered a second-half display full of desire and endeavour.
That saw them carve out a host of chances which hit the post and saw the Exeter keeper pull off some fine stops.
The lively Brandon Joseph-Buadi was rewarded for his performance as he lashed in a fine finish to make it 3-2.
Pompey then levelled through some predatory finishing from Liam Sayers.
It looked as if there was going to be one winner from that point but poor marking from a corner gave the home side the decisive goal with 20 minutes left.
Pompey’s late charge could not produce a leveller and saw them finish empty-handed.
Despite the players’ disappointment at the outcome and their fourth loss on the spin, Harris had words of comfort for them.
He said: ‘It was a fantastic game.
‘You couldn’t legislate for two of the goals and we could have won 3-1.
‘We have worked on being clinical and scored three goals.
‘But there has been individual errors from experienced players. They will learn and be better for that.
‘We have won games and I’ve been disappointed for us not performing well enough. This was the reverse.’