Adam May was a surprise inclusion in the Pompey side to face Arsenal U21s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Recalled from a loan spell with Aldershot, he took his place in midfield for the second round contest at Fratton Park.
But the academy graduate excelled in a 2-1 victory that came courtesy of goals from Brett Pitman and Andre Green.
May was unfortunate not to score himself with shots that hit the post and crossbar, but was still pleased with his evening’s work.
He said: “My luck’s out at the moment and I can’t seem to get a goal for Pompey. On another day they might both have gone in.
“But the most important thing was that we got the victory and I thought I played well, so I’m happy with that.
"My luck’s out at the moment and I can’t seem to get a goal for Pompey."
“The aim was to produce a professional performance against a younger team and we did that really well.
“Arsenal played football in a completely different way – it’s expansive stuff and they like to move up from the back.
“A team with that quality will always have a decent spell, but we reacted well after they scored and got the winner.”
May has enjoyed regular football in the National League with Aldershot and will now wait to see what the future holds.
He said: “The boys have been doing fantastic and that’s the reason why I went out on loan – I didn’t want to fall behind.
“But I felt sharp when I was out there and I’m sure we’ll have a chat this week to see what will happen next.
“I just got the call to come back here and was concentrating on trying to impress for Pompey in this game.”