Dan Smith and Bradley Lethbridge were on target as Pompey Academy played out a 2-2 draw with Exeter at Furze Lane.
They broke the deadlock in the opening stages when Smith (pictured) converted Freddie Read’s corner with a deflected header.
And the lead was almost extended, as James Whiting swivelled sharply and fired a shot narrowly past the post.
But the Grecians hit back to level through Harry Kite before the break and then turned the contest on its head with a Josh Hancock header early in the second half.
Pompey kept plugging away, though, and ensured a share of the spoils when Read stole possession and fed Lethbridge, who slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
"We defended much better following the interval and were able to control the game for long periods."
Academy head of coaching Shaun North said: “It was a little bit scrappy in the opening 45 minutes and we didn’t keep the ball well enough.
“But we defended much better following the interval and were able to control the game for long periods.
“A draw was probably the fair result in the end because Exeter are a decent side and caused problems of their own.
“We just need to make sure our passing is more accurate in the future and try to keep hold of possession.
“But it was a very young side that we fielded once again. We finished with five under-16 players on the pitch and it was a good experience for them.”
Pompey: Tombs; Mnoga (Kavanagh 68), Casey, Hancott; Flint (Kelly 87), Whiting (Bridgman 60), Read, Maloney, Johnston (Stanley 80); Smith, Lethbridge
Sub not used: Pitman