Holmes and Ferry fire Blues to victory
Ricky Holmes and Simon Ferry were on target as Pompey recorded their first away victory of the season at Burton.
The Blues looked dominant at the back and took the lead when Holmes reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box.
And they strengthened their lead after the interval, with Ferry forcing the ball over the line from close range.
Yassin Moutaouakil’s late red card – Pompey’s third of the season – blotted the copybook, but despite Zander Diamond's late consolation it did not affect the result.
Guy Whittingham stuck with the same 11 that drew at Cheltenham the previous week, although Tom Craddock (knee) was fit enough for a place on the bench.
It was the hosts that looked more adventurous in the opening stages, although the Blues back-line was doing a good job of protecting John Sullivan’s goal.
Pompey were forced into a defensive reshuffle on seven minutes, however, when Joe Devera limped off and was replaced by Bondz N’Gala.
The visitors immediately created the game’s first decent chance, with Jed Wallace denied by Brewers keeper Jordan Pickford after playing a neat one-two with Patrick Agyemang.
Agyemang then collected Andy Barcham’s clever flicked pass before eventually being crowded out in the Burton box.
Danny East was also in the wars, receiving a deep cut to his face and having to leave the pitch for a few minutes while he was stitched up in the dressing room.
Pompey were still looking the most likely to score and Holmes sent a teasing low cross into the box that was just out of reach for Wallace on 22 minutes.
And they did break the deadlock on 33 minutes, despite the best efforts of Pickford.
The keeper did brilliantly to claw away Agyemang’s awkwardly-bouncing header, but HOLMES was on hand to slide home the loose ball.
They might have had another moments later, but Pickford got down low to his right to push Barcham’s goalbound header past the post.
Sullivan had enjoyed a quiet first half in Pompey’s goalmouth, but would have been relieved to see Adam McGurk’s long-range effort deflected narrowly over the bar on 40 minutes.
The keeper then did well to hold on to a curling effort from former Blues loanee Adam Reed just before the break.
Half Time: Burton 0 Pompey 1
Pompey came quickest out of the blocks at the start of the second half and doubled their advantage on 51 minutes.
Burton were furious that it was allowed to stand, however, believing Damien McCrory to have been tripped by Holmes in the build-up.
But referee Dean Whitestone was unmoved by their protests and although Pickford did well to keep out Holmes’ angled drive, FERRY reacted quickest to bundle home the loose ball.
Pickford was trying his hardest to thwart Pompey and tipped Holmes’ curling free-kick over the crossbar just past the hour mark.
N’Gala then came close to becoming the third player to open his Blues account, heading narrowly over after meeting Holmes’ corner.
Burton started to look more threatening as the half progressed, but they were still struggling to breach the visitors’ defence.
And when they did manage to send a few high balls into the box, Sullivan was displaying some assured handling.
The only negative in a decent afternoon for Pompey came late on when Moutaouakil kicked out at Jimmy Phillips and was shown a straight red card.
And Alex MacDonald almost took immediate advantage, rattling the crossbar with a vicious free-kick from distance.
Diamond did reduce the deficit deep into stoppage-time, but the Blues had already done enough to finally hold on for their first three-point haul on the road this season.
Burton (4-4-2): Pickford; Edwards, Diamond, Holness, McCrory; Phillips, Reed (Palmer 59), Bell (c), McGurk (Knowles 82); Symes, Howe (MacDonald 59)
Goals: Diamond 90+5
Booked: Holness, Bell
Subs not used: Lyness, Slade, Weir, Dyer
Pompey (4-4-1-1): Sullivan; Moutaouakil, Devera (N’Gala 7), Bradley, East; Wallace, Ertl (c), Ferry, Barcham; Holmes (Cooper 86); Agyemang (Craddock 90)
Goals: Holmes 33, Ferry 51
Sent off: Moutaouakil
Subs not used: Smith, Butler, Padovani, Bird
Referee: Dean Whitestone
Attendance: 3,577 (1,147 Pompey fans)