Player Ratings: How Portsmouth's players performed in the EFL Trophy defeat to Sutton United with former Norwich City midfielder the best of the bunch
Blues boss Danny Cowley used the fixture as an opportunity to hand valuable minutes to a number of his fringe players, but they failed to grab the chance to impress.
Despite both scoring in last week’s friendly to Bournemouth, both George Hirst and Gassan Ahadme once again struggled up front, while Louis Thompson came out with some credit.
Read below to see how the Pompey players rated in the defeat.
Alex Bass: 6
Pompey’s understudy goalkeeper performed amicably against the Us and was reliable when called upon.
Countless times Bass was brave off his line and held onto the ball well to relieve the Sutton pressure, but was helpless to Isaac Olaofe’s opener.
Mahlon Romeo: 6
Romeo couldn’t replicate his usual high-energy, direct attacking style on the League Two side.
Perhaps credit should go to the visitors for limiting and keeping him anonymous throughout as he rarely found the space he thrives in down the wings.
Paul Downing: 5
Downing’s evening was unfortunately cut short five minutes before half-time due to injury.
Prior to being forced off, the 29-year-old had rarely put a foot wrong and looked understandably distraught when leaving the field.
Sean Raggett: 7
Dependable as usual, Raggett commanded the backline well and produced a memorable tackle to prevent Toby Sho SIlva driving towards goal in the first-half.
The ever-present for the Blues will be slightly disheartened by the two goals Pompey conceded at Fratton Park with Sutton benefitting and reacting better to two rebounds.
Lee Brown: 6
Captain Brown found himself in unusual surroundings at left-centre-back against Sutton, but didn’t look out of place.
During the first half the 31-year-old would often provide an option in attack similarly to what Sheffield United grew admirers for under Chris Wilder.
Much like Raggett, will be disappointed to concede twice against the League Two side.
Reeco Hackett: 6
Hackett played the majority of the tie as a left-wing-back and despite finding himself in strong positions in the final third, his final ball continually let him down.
After Harris’ injury saw Cowley’s side go down to 10 men, he led the line next to Hirst but failed to make an impact.
Louis Thompson: 7
Arguably Pompey’s best player at Fratton Park, Thompson operated slightly deeper in midfield and often retrieved the ball expertly.
Thompson carved out one of the few chances the Blues created after seeing his first-half strike from the edge of the box blocked before the ball was cleared.
Haji Mnoga: 5
The 20-year-old looked like a player who hadn’t played a lot of football this season. Operating in the heart of midfield, Mnoga broke play up nicely but was often wasteful in possession.
Tonight would have been a great opportunity to prove loan club Bromley wrong for leaving him out of there last three matchday squads, but Mnoga didn’t take the chance to do so.
Gassan Ahadme: 5
Another difficult night for the 20-year-old at Fratton Park. His appearance was hotly anticipated after scoring twice in the friendly against Bournemouth last week, but he struggled once again in senior competition.
More often than not he Ahadme failed to keep hold of the ball and carve out any meaningful chances, nor did he test Dean Bouzanis in the Sutton goal.
Michael Jacobs: 6
Operated behind the two strikers, but was another showing signs of rust at Fratton Park. Jacobs hadn’t started a match for the Blues since last month’s Hampshire Senior Cup victory over Basingstoke Town and it was clear to see that was the case.
The former Wigan attacker unfortunately grew in anonymity as the match progressed and did little to stake a claim for league appearances.
George Hirst: 6
Throughout the first half Hirst held the ball up well and linked the play nicely. However, he lacked a true cutting edge in front of goal and will be disappointed with his performance this evening.
Kieron Freeman: 5
Entered the field for the injured Downing and failed to make his presence felt in the backline. Although he wasn’t at fault for either Sutton goal, he failed to utilise Romeo down the wing.
Shaun Williams: 5
Failed to stamp his authority on proceedings when coming off the bench. Williams rarely created much when in possession of the ball and was often wasteful with the ball.
Ellis Harrison: N/A
After coming off the bench midway through the second half, Harrison was forced off through injury shortly after. The early signs don’t look good as he hobbled down the touchline.