Pompey finally grabbed their first away win of the season with a 2-1 success at Burton Albion – but, once again, made hard work of it for themselves.
Ricky Holmes’ first-half strike and Simon Ferry’s second-half close-range effort were enough to seal three points, depite a red card for Yassin Moutaoukil and a stoppage time goal from Zander Diamond.
The Blues were well in command for the majority of the game and took a deserved three-point haul.
But pulses were racing when Moutaouakil had his moment of madness, needlessly kicking his opponent on the ground twice to earn a straight red card six minutes from time – especially when Burton grabbed a late goal.
Pompey had much the better of the first half and took the lead 11 minutes before the interval.
Jed Wallace swept down the right flank on a pacy counter-attack and picked out Patrick Agyemang at the far post.
Although Burton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford produced a superb save to keep out the Agyemang’s downward header, Holmes was on hand to fire home from a tight angle.
The visitors might have been ahead earlier in the contest when Wallace was denied by the keeper after a sharp piece of passing and movement from Pompey carved open their opponents.
And having broken the deadlock, they so nearly made it 2-0 before half-time.
Moutaouakil’s cross from the right found Andy Barcham arriving at the far post, only for Pickford to save his team once more with a fine low save at the foot of his post.
After the break, Pompey stayed in command and, when Holmes saw his shot parried, Ferry was the first to react to double the advantage for Pompey.
From there they were cruising, with Burton struggling to trouble John Sullivan.
But after Moutaouakil lashed out at his man in one of the more ridiculous red cards of this or any other season, Pompey had to soak up late pressure.
Thankfully, this time, they held out – even though Diamond poked home a late strike to ruin hopes of a clean sheet.