BURTON 2 POMPEY 0
Pompey suffered a second successive league loss, falling to a 2-0 defeat at Burton.
The Blues were made to pay for a slow start, with Adam McGurk grabbing the opener after just 85 seconds.
They pushed forward in search of a reply, but Lucas Akins’ fierce second half strike ensured the hosts maintained their impressive start to the season.
Andy Awford made four changes to the side that won at Yeovil in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy during the week.
Ryan Taylor returned to lead the line, while there were also starts for Nicky Shorey at left-back and Ricky Holmes and Danny Hollands in midfield.
The Brewers had yet to be beaten in any competition so far this term and they showed why by taking the lead in just the second minute.
Stuart Beavon sent a dangerous low ball towards the far post, where his strike partner McGurk was waiting to slam home from close range.
Pompey soon threatened at the other end, with Burton keeper Jon McLaughlin forced to claim a long ball at the second attempt under pressure from Craig Westcarr.
But it was the hosts who provided most of the attacking impetus in the opening stages and Paul Robinson blocked McGurk’s shot before Robbie Weir screwed an effort wide.
The Blues did have a decent chance on 18 minutes, however, after James Dunne was brought down wide on the left.
Holmes’ free-kick was only cleared as far as Jed Wallace, who sent a fierce volley fizzing just past the post.
Taylor then struck an ambitious over-head effort straight at McLaughlin to excite the noisy band of travelling supporters.
Pompey had started to find their feet after a sluggish start and Westcarr was next to go close with a snap-shot from the edge of the box that McLaughlin did well to get his body behind.
Brewers skipper Ian Sharps then made a fine block to stop Taylor from converting Westcarr’s left-wing cross.
Hollands had to clear a Shance Cansdell-Sherriff header as Burton showed they could still cause problems going forward themselves.
But Pompey were showing more attacking desire than their opponents as they chased an equaliser before the break.
The Brewers were not overly troubled, though, as the Blues struggled to make an impact in the final third.
Half Time: Burton 1 Pompey 0
The hosts were quickest out of the traps at the start of the second half, with a couple of last-gasp blocks needed to keep them at bay.
But the Blues soon settled into a rhythm and began to put pressure on the opposition back-line, with a couple of Holmes corners headed to safety.
Pompey then missed a fantastic opportunity to level on 52 minutes. Shorey’s clever pass sent Johnny Ertl clear and the skipper delivered a low cross into the box.
Alex Wynter was there to meet it, but the right-back twice saw shots saved at point-blank range by McLaughlin.
Burton then went straight up the other end and should have doubled their advantage, with John Mousinho firing straight at Paul Jones after McGurk’s dummy left him with a free attempt at goal.
It was only a matter of seconds before they did score a second, though. It was Akins who got it, collecting Weir’s pass, turning in the box and slamming home an unstoppable shot.
Awford soon made his first change and, unsurprisingly, it was an attacking one, with Shorey making way for Miles Storey.
Patrick Agyemang then replaced Holmes on 74 minutes to leave Pompey with four strikers on the pitch.
Jones made a good stop to deny Jacob Blyth soon after, before the Blues broke up the other end and Storey saw his effort saved.
Pompey, to their credit, kept plugging away in search of a goal and Storey had a couple of half-chances before time ran out.
Burton (4-4-2): McLaughlin; Edwards, Sharps (c), Cansdell-Sherriff (McFadzean 83), Taft; Akins, Mousinho, Weir, MacDonald; Beavon, McGurk (Blyth 72)
Goals: McGurk 2, Akins 56
Subs not used: Lyness, Slade, Harness, Knowles
Pompey (4-2-3-1): Jones; Wynter (Butler 79), Ertl (c), Robinson, Shorey (Storey 60); Dunne, Hollands; Wallace, Westcarr, Holmes (Agyemang 74); Taylor
Subs not used: Poke, Webster, Devera, Close
Referee: Oliver Langford
Attendance: 2,980 (846 Pompey fans)