Pompey beat Exeter 4-2 to secure progress
Pompey fought from two goals down to beat Exeter and progress to the second round of the Youth Alliance Cup at Furze Lane.
The visitors led comfortably at the break, scoring following a quick counter-attack and then a fine strike.
But the Blues kept battling and Theo Widdrington arrived at the far post to convert a corner and reduce the deficit.
And it was Widdrington who then levelled the scores, driving into the box and hitting a shot that flew in off the post.
Pompey had all the momentum by now and substitute Matt Mayes netted following a goalmouth scramble to give them the lead for the first time.
Mayes then headed home from a Widdrington free-kick to wrap up the scoring and secure progress for the hosts.
Academy coach Mikey Harris: “I don’t want to say ‘a game of two halves’ because it is a cliché, but it fits the tie pretty well.
“To be fair, it was pretty even before the break, although the big difference between the sides was that they took their chances and we didn’t.
“Tommy Scutt hit the bar and wasted a couple of other decent chances, while Exeter were more clinical.
“It was a contest between two good attacking sides who were trying to score goals – a proper cup tie.
“The message to the boys at the break was to build on the flashes they had shown us, relax a bit and play with more freedom.
“They took that on board and we were much better in the second half – it’s amazing what a shot of confidence can do.”
Pompey: Hall; Chandler, Saidy (Casey 80), Wakley, McDowell (Hancott 80); Widdrington, Scutt; Bedford, Smith (Mayes 62), Woodward (Read 62); Bradbury