A Pompey Academy side missing all of their most experienced players lost 4-0 to Exeter in a Youth Alliance League contest at Copnor Road.
The visitors netted all of their goals before the interval, with George Spencer bagging a brace and Mitch Beardmore and Sonny Cox also finding the target.
Professional development phase coach Liam Daish said: “We had a very young team out there because our older players were named on the bench for the first team.
“So it was an opportunity for our under-16s to make that step up and again and show us what they’re capable of.
“But we played right into Exeter’s hands in the first half and didn’t show enough bravery or responsibility.
“There were too many sideways and negative balls, which gave our opponents the initiative to press us even further.
"We played right into Exeter’s hands in the first half and didn’t show enough bravery or responsibility."
“Alongside that, there was some poor defensive play and we didn’t get tight enough in and around our penalty box.
“That allowed Exeter to have a 4-0 lead at the break. There was lots to talk about and not a lot of positives.
“It was a real test of character and we challenged the players to keep a clean sheet in the second half, which they did.
“We were really pleased with their reaction and the way they dug in. They could have collapsed, but that didn’t happen.
“There was a lot more guts and determination and a bit of pride in our performance. With two contrasting halves, there was a lot of learning for them to take from the game.”
Pompey: Steward; J.Fox (C.Fox 46), Spurway, Dockerill; Setters, Bridgman, Payce (Bosaka 61), Simpson, Aston; Hurst, Williams