Referee Michael Bull was at the centre of controversy as Pompey slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Newport.
Mark Byrne grabbed the decisive goal on 67 minutes, yet it was greeted with fury from Andy Awford’s side at Rodney Parade.
The linesman had initially flagged for offside, intimating a player had either touched in Byrne’s cross-cum-shot or had been interferring with play.
After a discussion, the goal was allowed to stand, with Paul Jones’ protests earning him a booking from Bull.
The Chelmsford-based official had earlier turned down strong Pompey claims for a penalty in the 40th minute.
Byrne’s challenge appeared to floor Jed Wallace inside the box, with the ball apparently nowhere near the tackle, but nothing was forthcoming.
Minutes later, Jones was drawn into his first save of the game when he pushed out Aaron O’Connor’s angled drive, but in all it was a tight first half.
After the break, Jones had to push Andy Sandell’s far post header past the post following Bryne’s right-wing cross.
Then on 50 minutes, debutant Matt Tubbs had a great chance when Ryan Taylor slipped in a pass, but couldn’t gather, the ball striking the back of his heels.
The striker was then called up for a foul as he attempted to make amends by winning the ball back.
The visitors would then finish strongly with Adam Webster seeing a shot from distance beaten out by the sprawling Joe Day, while the keeper also kept out substitute Craig Westcarr’s free-kick.
There were even Blues appeals for handful inside the box after Andy Barcham’s shot as they laid seige for an equaliser.
But the equaliser wouldn’t arrive and at the final whistle Wallace - marking his 100th appearance - was remonstrasting with Bull as Pompey started 2015 on a losing note.