Gareth Evans’ first-half goal lit up Pompey’s Checkatrade Trophy win over Northampton.
Evans’ header rounded off a lovely team goal four minutes before the break in the Blues’ 2-0 victory.
Stuart O’Keefe got the second for Kenny Jackett’s men 14 minutes after the restart with a confident slotted finish.
The match was watched by the lowest recorded Saturday crowd in the club’s history, however, with 1,780 braving the cold.
Pompey were indebted to Luke McGee, who made a superb full-length save to keep out what looked a certain goal from Ash Taylor’s header eight minutes after the restart.
Danny Rose won’t thank Curtis Main for his intervention, as his 57th-minute volley looked to be on its way, before the striker flicked it at keeper David Cornell in an offside position.
Main failed to convert a few chances after the break - the clearest when he rolled his shot just wide with 13 minutes left.
The second half proved better value than a poor first, but the end result is Pompey are now three wins from Wembley in the much-maligned competition.