Pompey exit, yet still with promise
Pompey fell at the first hurdle in the JPT Trophy, losing 2-0 to league one stablemates Exeter, but that is only half the story.
Pompey were being led by Ben Close, hardly a first team stalwart himself, his men were nearly all teenagers, I don't think so many teenagers have made a debut since we were forced to play the youth team on the opening day a few years back at Plymouth.
Jones was back between the sticks and Connor Chaplin was the experienced head up front! Adam Barton finally got some game time, playing at centre back rather than his usual midfield slot.
Pompey should of taken the lead in the first ten seconds, McGurk found himself clean through but hit the keeper rather than the net.
Pompey's philosophy of high pressure and retaining the ball has obviously been distiller right down the ranks, Exeter may of had the experience, but Pompey still shaded the possession stats.
Chaplin was a menace upfront once more, he is a waspish type of player no doubt, his free kick from an acute angle striking the bar as Pompey kept a first half clean sheet.
The second period saw Exeter push a little harder, the goal though came against the run of play, Joseph-Buadi giving a pen away after a pull back, Harley scoring the spot kick.
Kai Naismith was another to make a belated debut after an injury hit pre season, but it was Exeter who were to score again, Nicholls firing in a cross shot that proved to be a cracking finish.
Pompey were tiring but Tollitt showed his promise in a spell where he really shone, clipping the bar with a ferocious shot.
All in all, Pompey made a go of it without really being too bothered by the result, the experience was a bonus for the young lads, giving them a taste of the future, whilst the older boys concentrate on the more pressing issue of getting out of the basement.