Pompey were made to fight before ultimately securing comfortable progress into the second round of the Emirates FA Cup.
But Danny Cowley did not expect life to be easy against National League North outfit Hereford at Edgar Street.
Former Fratton loanee Miles Storey had given the hosts a shock lead in front of the BBC television cameras.
Reeco Hackett quickly levelled, though, and the visitors dominated in the second half, with Colby Bishop and Joe Pigott getting the job done.
And Cowley was pleased with how his side responded to falling behind to avoid becoming victims of a cup upset.
The Blues boss said: “We’re really pleased with the outcome and knew it was going to be our toughest game of the season.
“Anyone there will understand just why that’s the case. It’s an iconic, old-fashioned stadium and we were playing a team who gave it everything.
"We had to get in at half-time and regroup, but I thought we were significantly better after the break and found a good rhythm."
“Their intensity in the first half was incredible and some of our younger players in particular found it difficult.
“There are injuries, as everyone knows, while we didn’t have Dane or Owen available and they’re two big players for us. We missed their energy and intensity.
“We had to get in at half-time and regroup, but I thought we were significantly better after the break and found a good rhythm.
“We just looked much more like ourselves and the substitutes who came for us on made a big difference.
“It was great to see Tom Lowery back on the pitch again – we’re better with him – and hopefully we’ll have Marlon Pack by the next time we play as well.
“We also have to give credit to Jay Mingi and Ryan Tunnicliffe because they’ve gone Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, Friday on the back of very little game time.”
Pompey will discover their next opponents on Monday evening and Cowley has just one request for whoever is picking the balls out of the bowl.
He said: “I just want a home draw – I don’t think we every get them here! I’ll take anybody at Fratton Park.”