Pompey Academy produced a much improved display, but were beaten 2-0 at title-chasing Oxford in their latest Youth Alliance League contest.
Gatlin O’Donkor fired the hosts ahead midway through the first half, while Adam Smith wrapped things up at the death.
There were chances for the Blues, with Harrison Brook (pictured) and Izzy Kaba going closest to finding the target.
Professional development phase coach Liam Daish said: “I was really pleased with the players because they worked hard and, overall, performed very well.
“They’re always tough games when you face Oxford, but we were competitive and the attitude was spot on.
"We ticked most of the boxes and my only criticism is that we lacked a cutting edge."
“Before the match I’d asked them to run hard and make their mark – and that’s exactly what they did.
“We ticked most of the boxes and my only criticism is that we lacked a cutting edge, although did create some chances around their box.
“Defending set-pieces has been a real weakness of ours lately, but we were much better and looked solid.
“It was a really good game of football to watch at under-18 level and on another day, we might have come away with a better result.”
Pompey: Manderson; Setters, Cadman, Kaba, Rew; Jewitt-White (Bridgman 70), Bell; Dawson (Hughes 65), Lee, Brook; Anderson (Gifford 81)
Click here to see the updated Youth Alliance League table and Pompey player stats.