POMPEY 3 STEVENAGE 2
Joe Devera was the unlikely match winner as Pompey ended their winless run against Stevenage.
The defender fired home the decisive goal just moments after gifting the visitors a second half equaliser.
The Blues had earlier recovered from falling behind to Dean Wells’ shot to take the lead.
First Jed Wallace added to his tally to bring the hosts level before Miles Storey capped his return to the side with a goal of his own.
Andy Awford made six changes from the side beaten at Bury at the weekend as Pompey reverted to a 4-4-2 formation.
Paul Robinson and Nicky Shorey started in defence, while James Dunne returned from a one-match ban to face his former club.
Craig Westcarr was partnered by Storey up front, with Ricky Holmes handed a wide role on the left.
The change of system failed to bring about an increase in excitement as the match began in lacklustre fashion.
There was no goalmouth action at either end until Ronnie Henry’s mis-cued header had to be claimed on the line by Chris Day on 16 minutes.
The Stevenage keeper then came tearing off his line to beat Storey to a long punt forward and head clear.
But it was Boro who broke the deadlock midway through the first half when Dean Parrett’s corner was headed back across goal by Darius Charles for Wells to volley home.
That seemed to wake Pompey up and Wallace’s fierce angled effort had to be beaten away by Day at his near post.
The keeper could not deny WALLACE on 34 minutes, however, as the Blues’ top scorer saw his low drive deflected into the bottom corner.
Westcarr then went close to giving the hosts an interval lead, but his effort rolled agonisingly wide of the post.
Half Time: Pompey 1 Stevenage 1
Wallace and Danny Hollands had a couple of half-chances as Pompey looked to build momentum at the start of the second half.
But it was Boro who almost took the lead when Chris Whelpdale fired in a fierce shot that cannoned back off the inside of the post.
The Blues almost immediately went ahead, however, as Hollands fed STOREY and the striker lashed home past a helpless Day.
Stevenage did enjoy a spell of pressure midway through the half, but Pompey were holding firm to repel their attacks.
But the visitors were handed an equaliser on 74 minutes when Devera’s weak header was seized upon by Beardsley, who rounded Paul Jones and slotted into the net.
The defender went from villain to hero by netting his first goal for the club moments later, however.
DEVERA received Hollands’ throw and fired home a left-footed effort from the edge of the box to stun the Fratton faithful.
Charlie Lee saw his free-kick parried clear by Jones as Stevenage tried to salvage something from the game.
But that was as close as the visitors came to levelling as Pompey saw out the final few minutes with relative ease.
Pompey (4-4-2): Jones; Devera, Robinson, Chorley (c), Shorey; Wallace (Ertl 90+5), Dunne, Hollands, Holmes; Westcarr (Atangana 89), Storey
Goals: Wallace 34, Storey 57, Devera 79
Booked: Dunne, Holmes
Subs not used: Poke, Butler, Barcham, Agyemang, Taylor
Stevenage (4-4-1-1): Day; Henry (c), Ashton, Wells, Charles; Whelpdale, McAllister, Parrett (Bond 78), Adams (Clarke 85); Lee; Beardsley
Goals: Wells 23, Beardsley 74
Booked: Henry, Lee
Subs not used: Beasant, Okimo, Jebb, Pett, Lancaster
Referee: Mick Russell
Attendance: 13,281 (163 away fans)