PLYMOUTH 3 POMPEY 0
Pompey suffered a first half horror show as they were comprehensively beaten in front of the Sky Sports cameras at Plymouth.
It was always going to be an uphill battle once Reuben Reid had converted an early penalty.
And so it proved as Lewis Alessandra doubled the hosts’ advantage before Reid effectively ended the contest before the break.
The Blues did at least improve after the interval, but it was still Argyle who looked more dangerous as they twice hit the woodwork.
Andy Awford made three changes from the side that drew with Aldershot in the FA Cup the previous week.
Skipper Ben Chorley returned to the defence in place of the suspended Paul Robinson, while there were also starts for Nick Awford and Jack Whatmough.
The latter played in a holding midfield role as Pompey switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation.
But the visitors had it all to do after falling behind with just six minutes on the clock.
Nicky Shorey was penalised for a trip on Alessandra in the box and Reid stepped up to emphatically slam home the spot-kick.
Pompey then enjoyed their best attacking spell of the game, with Ricky Holmes delivering a tantalising cross that somehow evaded three of his team-mates.
The winger also fired in a low angled shot that Argyle keeper Luke McCormick saved with his feet.
But that was about as good as it got for the Blues, who fell further behind on 20 minutes.
Kelvin Mellor got free down the right and pulled the ball back for an unmarked Alessandra to bend past Paul Jones.
Reid missed an opportunity to strengthen the hosts’ advantage by scuffing wide before Danny Hollands had to hack clear following a scramble in the box.
But it was only a brief respite for Pompey, who conceded again when Mellor beat Shorey down the right and cut back for Reid to fire into the bottom corner.
Jack Whatmough had a long-range effort blocked towards the end of the half, but the Blues failed to really threaten their opponents’ goal.
Half Time: Plymouth 3 Pompey 0
Pompey seemed eager to improve after the interval and enjoyed plenty of possession in the Plymouth half.
But they were not able to breach the Argyle back-line and test the under-worked McCormick.
The hosts were understandably content to drop down a few gears, although they still looked dangerous on the break.
Awford made a double switch on the hour mark as Awford and Shorey made way for Ryan Taylor and Dan Butler.
That saw a move back to the 4-4-2 formation that the Blues had adopted in recent weeks.
But it was still only a case of half-chances for the visitors, with efforts from Holmes and Hollands not overly troubling McCormick.
Plymouth came much closer to scoring on 72 minutes, however, when Lee Cox rattled a 25-yard shot off the crossbar.
Then, moments later, substitute Deane Smalley raced through on goal, only for Jones to stick out a hand to deny the striker.
The same player also hammered a shot against the post from an acute angle, with Plymouth suddenly appearing reinvigorated.
The 1,243 travelling fans were still making a racket in the away end despite the scoreline, but Pompey were unable to reward them with a consolation goal as the game drifted to its conclusion.
Plymouth (3-5-2): McCormick; Nelson (c), McHugh, Hartley; Mellor, Cox (Harvey 83), Blizzard, O’Connor, Kellett; Reid (Smalley 67), Alessandra (Morgan 87)
Goals: Reid 6 (pen), 30, Alessandra 21
Subs not used: Bittner, Norburn, Allen, Thomas
Pompey (4-1-4-1): Jones; Wynter, Devera, Chorley (c), Shorey (Butler 60); Whatmough (Atangana 73); Wallace, Awford (Taylor 60), Hollands, Holmes; Storey
Subs not used: Poke, Close, Tarbuck, Westcarr
Referee: Andy Madley
Attendance: 10,354 (1,243 Pompey fans)