Pompey Women’s first match for three weeks ended in disappointment, as they fell to a 3-1 defeat at high-flying Crawley.
Jade Widdows cancelled out an early goal for the hosts, but a red card for Katie James meant the Blues were down to 10 players for more than hour.
The Wasps had already restored their lead by that point and struck again after the break to secure all three points.
Jay Sadler made four changes from the side that thrashed Leyton Orient in the League Cup last month.
Hannah Haughton and Katie James were both recalled after returning from international action at the World Beach Games, while Rosie McDonnell and Widdows also started.
Pompey came close to taking an early lead in impressive fashion, but Tamsin de Bunsen’s 40-yard effort flew narrowly past the post.
It was the hosts who instead broke the deadlock on 17 minutes, as Tash Stephens – appearing against her former club – converted Emma Plewa’s cross.
But the scores were level midway through the first half, with WIDDOWS arriving to head home after another long-range de Bunsen’s effort was tipped onto the bar by Frankie Gibbs.
Crawley hit back immediately, however, and restored their advantage when Plewa collected Charlotte Young’s pass and neatly slotted past Haughton.
And the Blues soon received a further blow, as James was shown a red card for an off-the-ball incident.
Half Time: Crawley 2 Pompey 1
Pompey tried to fight back following the interval and Widdows’ effort from outside the box was not too far off target.
Sam Pittuck also prodded narrowly wide at the other end, as the Wasps tried to make the most of their numerical advantage.
And they did increase their lead on 77 minutes, with Plewa latching onto a long ball and coolly sliding home her second of the afternoon.
The Blues kept on battling and when Hayley Bridge slipped a pass through to Widdows, her shot went just over the bar.
But they were unable to find another goal that would have ensured a grandstand finale, as Crawley saw out the closing stages.
Pompey: Haughton; Tonks, Southgate (c), Younger (Currie 46), McDonnell; Bradley, Rowe, James; Widdows, de Bunsen (Bath 62), True (Bridge 62)
Subs not used: Burns, Ingram