FOR the second time in the space of just a few days, a good Argyle performance in the EFL Youth Alliance went unrewarded.
After dominating Bristol Rovers in midweek but somehow losing 1-0, the Pilgrims played almost as well at Portsmouth on Saturday but, again, went down to a solitary goal scored just before half-time.
The first chance of the game fell to Argyle on 12 minutes, when a header from Klaidi Lolos was narrowly off target following a decent cross by Jude Boyd. Pompey responded with a good break, with the eventual shot blocked by Isaac Burdon.
Lolos threatened again on 34 minutes and then a long-range strike from Tom Purrington was well saved. Lolos had an effort blocked by the goalkeeper’s legs and Rio Garside also went close after latching on to a Purrington pass.
Against the run of play, Portsmouth snatched the lead with a cross to the near-post that was finished off from close range. A dramatic first period still had another twist, as Argyle won a penalty but Lolos spurned the opportunity from the spot.
The Pilgrims kept on creating chances after the break, piling on the pressure with strikes from Boyd and Lolos. On 69 minutes, substitute Scott Crocker was denied by a fine save by the onrushing goalkeeper.
Tyler Coombes made a good block at the other end but the momentum continued to flow in Argyle’s direction. Argyle were camped in the Pompey half but the final chance, a header from Rubin Wilson, was a fraction too high.
Argyle: Tyler Coombes; Isaac Burdon, Rebuen Collum (Finley Craske), Jude Boyd, Michael Peck, Ollie Tomlinson, Joe Seery, Tom Purrington (Scott Crocker 58), Klaidi Lolos, Rio Garside (Rubin Wilson 68), Aaron Goulty. Substitutes (not used): Andrew Burn.