Ghanaian striker Kwesi Appiah’s goal was not enough as English side Cambridge United went down 2-1 in their Sky Bet League Two encounter at Portsmouth on Saturday.
Jed Wallace tested United keeper Chris Dunn with a dipping effort in the opening stages, but Richard Money’s side had the better of the game early on with Appiah and Ryan Donaldson both going close.
The movement of the home forwards gave United something to contend with, but Greg Taylor forced a good save out of Pompey keeper Paul Jones around the half-hour mark.
It was his namesake Ryan Taylor who broke the deadlock though, with a neat header from Miles Storey’s cross from the left on 33 minutes.
Portsmouth were reduced to 10 men just before half time when Adam Webster picked up his second booking for a horrible lunge on Harrison Dunk.
United switched to three at the back as a result in the second half and showed good intent going forward with Donaldson having a couple of chances to get them level.
But an unlucky own goal, Liam Hughes cannoning a clearance straight into the back of Tom Bonner’s thighs with the ball rebounding into the net, doubled Pompey’s lead on 66 minutes.
Appiah helped get United back into the game by heading home a corner soon after.
Despite Tom Elliott going close and Robbie Simpson having a fierce effort pushed over the bar in stoppage time, United could not find an equaliser.
Money said: “It’s a tough place to come, but another missed opportunity.
“We should have won at Birmingham in the week and we’ve missed a real opportunity here to turn the game on its head and we’ve got to learn very quickly.
“We need to believe we’re as good as we can be because we’ve let a golden opportunity slip by against a team I think will win the league.”
Portsmouth: Jones, Webster, Whatmough, Robinson, Shorey, Dunne, Atangana (Devera 45), Wallace, Taylor (Holmes 63), Hollands, Storey (Bird 84). Not used: Bass, Westcarr, Awford, Butler.
United: Dunn, Tait (Simpson 46), Taylor, Coulson, Bonner (Cunnington 71), Hughes (Chadwick 83), Donaldson, Champion, Appiah, Elliott, Dunk. Not used: Norris, Sam-Yorke, Whittall, Lennon.