With driving rain, swirling wind and an artificial surface, everything was set up for an Emirates FA Cup upset at Harrogate Town.
But Pompey’s wingers helped to ensure the visitors would progress to the second round of the historic competition, where they will face Altrincham on home soil.
Ryan Williams played a key role in both of the Blues’ strikes at Wetherby Road, first teeing-up Brandon Haunstrup to cancel out an early opener for the non-league outfit.
And the Australian winger also provided the assist for Ronan Curtis to hit a stunning winner before the break.
Williams – who was named man-of-the-match by broadcasters BT Sport – said: “There was carnage in the first half when you saw the ball in the air, swirling in the wind and their big man up front.
"We’re looking to get our season going and raise the confidence because we’ve been playing well in the league lately."
“We were playing up the hill as well, but had to come through that and are just happy to be in the next round.
“At least we don’t have to travel in the next round and it gives us an opportunity to try to stamp our authority.
“We’re looking to get our season going and raise the confidence because we’ve been playing well in the league lately.”
Republic of Ireland international Curtis added: “We dug in deep against a strong, physical Harrogate side. We showed good character to come back and get the win.
"The season got off to a sticky start, but we’ve won the past two games and hopefully it’s the start of a turnaround."
“The weather was difficult and we’re not used to playing on a 3G pitch, while it’s frustrating when you travel six hours and then the floodlights keep going off.
“We didn’t really know what was going on, although still kept our focus and our cool to get the job done.
“The season got off to a sticky start, but we’ve won the past two games and hopefully it’s the start of a turnaround.”