BURY 3 POMPEY 0
Pompey suffered their heaviest league defeat of the season as they went down 3-0 at promotion favourites Bury.
It was always going to be a difficult afternoon for the Blues once Danny Mayor had fired the Shakers ahead with a neat finish early on.
Ryan Lowe then added a second just before the break, while Danny Rose put the outcome beyond doubt in the second half.
Andy Awford made three changes from the side that drew with Mansfield the previous week.
Ben Chorley returned from an injury-inflicted nine-game absence to start in the centre of defence, while there were also starts for Nigel Atangana and Dan Butler.
Nicky Shorey dropped to the bench, while the suspended James Dunne and injured Paul Robinson both missed out.
Pompey survived an early scare when Lowe curled a free-kick narrowly wide after Danny Hollands had felled Nicky Adams.
But it was only a brief reprieve for the Blues, as Mayor broke the deadlock on nine minutes with a lovey curling finish that left Paul Jones with no chance.
Michael Drennan had a couple of opportunities either side of the goal, but both were inches wide of finding the target.
There was not much more of an attacking threat from Pompey in the opening half, however.
Instead it was Bury who looked more likely to add to the scoring and Lowe really should have doubled their advantage on 36 minutes.
The striker was left with a simple finish after collecting Craig Jones’ low cross, but got the ball stuck under his feet.
He was more clinical just before the break, though, as the Shakers dealt Pompey a hammer blow.
Adams was left unmarked down the left to collect a long free-kick and acrobatically crossed for Lowe to glance home.
Half Time: Bury 2 Pompey 0
Awford made a double change at the break, with Atangana and Alex Wynter making way for Ricky Holmes and Ben Close.
There was also a switch in formation, as the Blues reverted to four at the back with a diamond midfield.
Holmes immediately looked a threat and forced Shakers keeper Rob Lainton into action for the first time with a low drive from distance.
Jed Wallace then had an effort deflected behind, only for Bury to break from the resulting corner and almost score themselves.
It took a vital block from Joe Devera to deny the impressive Adams and keep Pompey’s deficit at just two goals.
But the Blues were certainly making more of an impact going forward than before the interval and Drennan’s 25-yard free-kick was deflected over after Ryan Taylor had been crudely felled.
Any hopes of a comeback were snuffed out just past the hour mark, however, when Rose stretched to turn home Lowe’s cross from close range.
Awford immediately made his final throw of the dice, with Patrick Agyemang replacing Drennan in Pompey’s attack.
Lowe and Rose were withdrawn for the hosts having done their job for the afternoon, although Bury still looked dangerous.
But it took a brave block from Jimmy McNulty to stop Wallace from pulling a goal back with a fierce volley on 72 minutes.
That was as close as the Blues came to providing the noisy band of travelling supporters with anything to cheer, however, as the game meandered towards its conclusion.
Bury (3-4-1-2): Lainton; Cameron, Mills, McNulty (c); Jones, Soares, Etuhu, Mayor (Sedgwick 74); Adams; Lowe (Tutte 64), Rose (Nardiello 68)
Goals: Mayor 9, Lowe 44, Rose 61
Subs not used: Jalal, Hussey, Holmes, Platt
Pompey (3-5-2): Jones; Ertl, Chorley (c), Devera; Wynter (Close 46), Atangana (Holmes 46), Hollands, Wallace, Butler; Taylor, Drennan (Agyemang 62)
Booked: Drennan, Devera, Wallace
Subs not used: Poke, Shorey, Awford, Westcarr
Referee: Robert Madley
Attendance: 4,259 (552 Pompey fans)