Blues defeated at Stonebridge Road
Pompey suffered their first defeat of pre-season, going down 3-0 to Ebbsfleet on a sweltering afternoon in Kent.
Ben Close (hamstring), Danny East (groin), Ricky Holmes (thigh), Michael Poke (ankle) and Bradley Tarbuck (ankle) were all carrying knocks and missed out for the Blues.
Charlie Sheringham netted either side of a Billy Bricknell header as the Conference South side produced an impressive display.
It was the hosts who started brighter and Paul Jones had to get down quickly to keep out Bricknell’s low drive.
James Dunne was not taking things easy in midfield and one full-blooded challenge resulted in some handbags between both sides.
But it was the non-league side who broke the deadlock on 20 minutes when Bricknell crossed for Sheringham – son of former Blues striker Teddy – to tap home.
Pompey were not causing many attacking problems for the Fleet, although Jed Wallace did roll a shot inches past the post.
Ebbsfleet were still looking dangerous themselves, however, and Jones had to save from both Anthony Cook and Joe Howe before the break.
Once play resumed, Pompey launched a quick break forward that ended with Adam Webster sending a shot narrowly wide.
The hot and humid conditions were not conducive for fast-paced football and the players took a much-needed drinks break midway through the first half.
Ebbsfleet 1 Pompey 0Half Time:
Andy Awford made just one substitution at the break as Ryan Taylor made way for Miles Storey up front.
It was the hosts who were first to go close in the second half as Bricknell was inches away from connecting with Sheringham’s cross.
The third goal then arrived moments later after Jones could only parry Cook’s cross into the path of Sheringham.
And they doubled their advantage on 54 minutes when Bricknell was left alone to head home Howe’s fine cross.
A host of changes were made just past the hour mark, with Dan Butler, Johnny Ertl, Jack Whatmough, Nick Awford, Nigel Atangana and Patrick Agyemang all entering the fray.
Ryan Bird, Alex Wynter and Jack Maloney soon followed as Awford continued his pre-season policy of giving everyone minutes.
Sheringham 20, 58, Bricknell 54Goals:
Edwards; Sessegnon, Acheampong (Khinda-John 76), Harrington, Howe; Osborn (Palmer 71), Corcoran (c) (McMahon 79), Fraser, Cook; Bricknell (Johnson 84), Sheringham (Godden 76) Ebbsfleet (4-4-2):
Pompey did have the chance to grab a consolation on 81 minutes, but Wynter could only fire straight at Fleet keeper Preston Edwards after being teed-up by Agyemang.
Jones; Webster (Wynter 70), Devera (Whatmough 62), Chorley (c) (Ertl 62), Shorey (Butler 62); Dunne (Atangana 62), Hollands (Awford 62); Wallace (Bird 70), Westcarr (Agyemang 62), Barcham (Maloney 70); Taylor (Storey 46)Pompey (4-2-3-1):
Ian Fissenden Referee: