Boss says Shrewsbury deserved their win
Pompey looked like a side sitting comfortably in mid-table without promotion dreams or relegation fears to inspire them.
Shrewsbury, meanwhile, were keen to reinforce their place in the top three and mount a push for the title.
So perhaps it should not have come as a surprise that it was the latter who looked the far superior side at Fratton Park.
Bobby Grant’s brace saw them ease to a comfortable victory, as the hosts struggled to create many meaningful chances.
And Andy Awford conceded that his men were second best throughout the contest.
The Blues boss said: “Shrewsbury were the better team without a shadow of a doubt and deserved to win the game.
“We made a brightish start, but then the first goal knocked the stuffing out of us.
“We need to react better than that if we fall behind and that’s something we spoke about in the dressing room afterwards.
“And we also have to do better with the ball because we gave it away far too cheaply and were punished by a decent side.
“Eventually we got going and changed the shape a bit – we had to do something because it was just drifting along.
“But we have to give their lad some credit because they were two fantastic finishes.
“It’s going to take a lot of hard work on the training ground to put things right and to make sure we improve in our next game.”
Awford explained why Josh Passley was not involved in the matchday squad against the Shrews.
He said: “He was late for the game and it’s not the first time that’s happened. His professionalism isn’t good enough in my opinion.”
Conor Chaplin was given another chance to impress, coming off the bench having scored hat-tricks for both the academy and reserve sides in the past week.
Awford said: “It was difficult for Conor to come on in that situation, but he’s got a big future in the game.
“He’s been really bright recently and scored some goals, so I thought he deserved another chance.”