Blues beaten in Devon
Pompey Academy saw their Youth Alliance League title hopes ended by a 2-0 defeat at Exeter.
The result also means that – with one game remaining – the young Blues have not yet secured the top-five finish needed to qualify for Merit League One.
They dominated possession in the opening stages in Devon, without creating many clear-cut chances.
Matt Mayes curled a shot wide from the edge of the box, but it was the Grecians who broke the deadlock on 34 minutes.
And the hosts then doubled their advantage early in the second half, despite Pompey’s appeals for offside.
Jack Chandler and Theo Widdrington both saw efforts fly past the post, with the Blues unable to unlock their opponents’ defence.
Academy coach Mikey Harris said: “It was obviously disappointing because we still had an opportunity to win the title.
“It looks like, barring a strange set of results, Exeter will finish top of the Youth Alliance League table and fair play to them.
“They were much better than us in every department and thoroughly deserved to claim all three points.
“We simply didn’t play anywhere near the level we’re capable of, which is frustrating given what was at stake.
“In the first half we saw plenty of the ball, but never really hurt Exeter and that was because of the tempo we played at.
“It needed to be quicker and with a lot more purpose, so that’s something for the boys to reflect on and learn from.
“This is an important time of year for our second years and they need to step up to show what they can do.”
Pompey: Hall; Smith, Saidy, Wakley (c) (Casey 60), McDowell; Widdrington; Brooks, Read; Scutt (Chandler 55); Bradbury, Mayes
Sub not used: Collins