A PONDEROUS first-half display condemned Pompey Academy to a 4-2 defeat against Cheltenham Town in the Youth Alliance southwest division.
The young Blues gave themselves a mountain to climb at the club’s Roko training base after shipping three goals before the break.
The Robins took the lead after just nine minutes. A cross from the left was failed to be, allowing a visiting striker to tuck home from close range.
Josh Flint almost got Pompey level 10 minutes later but was unable to meet Oscar Johnston’s cross at the back post.
Cheltenham doubled their advantage on 38 minutes when their captain was left unmarked for a corner at the back post.
And things got worse for the Blues when they were caught on the counter attack two minutes before the interval.
Kelly’s men did improve in the second half, however, and reduced the arrears in the 48th minute when Tom Bruce’s cross was met powerfully by Stanley.
Pompey continued to battle and in the 64th minute Whiting drilled an angled shot beyond the visiting keeper.
But the Robins regained their two-goal advantage just a minute later through a long-range strike.
And any hopes of a Blues fightback were curtailed when Haji Mnoga was dismissed for a second booking late one.