It was only a third senior appearance for Pompey – and Bradley Lethbridge was not even expecting to play at Oxford.
But it was a special night for the teenager in the Leasing.com Trophy, as he opened his Blues account.
The striker forced the ball home from a tight angle in the 2-2 draw – which preceded a penalty shoot-out success that yielded a bonus point – after Josh Flint’s effort was deflected into his path.
And Lethbridge – who has been on loan at non-league Bognor this season – hopes it will be the first of many.
He said: “I was quite surprised when I heard that I was in the team, but really pleased to get the goal.
“My first thought when Josh shot was that it was going in, but I was in the right place at the right time to get a touch and it literally rolled over the line.
"I was quite surprised when I heard that I was in the team, but really pleased to get the goal."
“I wasn’t expecting to get my first goal for the club so soon. It was my first appearance of the season and I’m happy to get off the mark.
“It was a really big one for me and hopefully I can now push on at Pompey and get a few more in the future.
“The boys put in a really good shift. We worked hard against a very strong Oxford team to get a positive result.
“The defenders were a lot bigger and stronger than I’m used to, with a lot more experience, but I tried to hold the ball up and get in behind.
“Those more experienced lads in our team will try to help you through it as much as they can. They support you all the way through and raise your confidence.”
With the likes of Ellis Harrison, John Marquis and Brett Pitman ahead of him in the pecking order, Lethbridge knows he has to be patient.
He said: “Now I need to keep working hard, trying to get fitter and stronger, and doing my best to impress the staff and fans.
“There are some great strikers at the club and it’s the next level up for me to get in front of them and into the team.”