Pompey Academy slipped to a narrow Merit League defeat against Oxford, despite producing a bright performance.
Josh Johnson netted the only goal of the contest early in the second half to secure three points for the visitors at Copnor Road.
Professional development phase coach Liam Daish said: “The only thing missing from our display was that all-important goal.
“I thought that our players applied themselves well in a tactical sense and stuck to our game-plan against a side with a lot more experience.
“There were a lot of under-16s involved once again and you could see as the match progressed that they were confident of being able to compete.
“We matched Oxford physically and it just goes to show that as long as you have a bit of fire in your belly, it doesn’t matter what size you are.
"I thought that our players applied themselves well in a tactical sense and stuck to our game-plan against a side with a lot more experience."
“There were numerous chances for us to score and Gabriel Kamavuako had a couple of great opportunities, with one effort hitting the bar.
“We certainly put our visitors on the back foot at times and the lads supported each other, both on and off the ball. It was just the goal that proved elusive.
“Before the game I’d asked the players to show what they have learnt over the season and you could see them making good decisions as a team, such as when to press and when to drop back.
“I told them afterwards that although they would be disappointed with the result, their overall display was excellent.
“They played with an identity of what I expect to see from a Pompey player – aggression at the right times, technical ability and looking after each other.”
Pompey: Steward; Fox (Whitaker 84), Kaba, Hughes, Laidlaw; Bosaka, Aston, Trialist 1 (Payce 68); Kamavuako (Trialist 3 80), Trialist 2 (Hurst 80), Bridgman