Southend United U18s exited the FA Youth Cup at the first hurdle tonight after Portsmouth came from behind to secure a 2-1 win at Fratton Park.
Blues participation in the competition came to an abrupt end despite taking a first half lead through Marlon Agyakwa.
Pompey leveled from the penalty spot inside the first minute of the second 45 minutes before Liam Triggs glanced a header past Ted Smith to complete their comeback as Southend finished with ten men.
Southend’s Mitchell Pinnock unloaded Ricky Duncan’s sides’ first opportunity as he fired over after 8 minutes before Portsmouth’s Connor O’Hara collected Pinnock’s header moments later.
However, United finally opened their account in the 28th minute when Agyakwa’s short free-kick to Jack Payne was returned allowing the winger to float a 28-yard shot over the head of O’Hara and hand Southend the lead.
Minutes later Smith made a smart save to his right from Jack Maloney’s drive to keep the Blues ahead before Pinnock failed to test O’Hara with a shot from the edge of the area at the other end.
Pompey’s Jack Whatmough was then on hand to thwart Jack Payne’s jinking run in the box before Jason Williams powered Agyakwa’s left-wing corner over the bar in the final chance of the first half.
After the interval Southend got off to the worst possible start as Portsmouth were handed a penalty inside 60 seconds. Fullback Harry Jeffery tripped Pompey’s Malone in the penalty area and Bradley Tarback slammed the resulting spot kick beyond Smith to pull the hosts level.
Josh Banton was left ruing a superb chance to put Southend back in front soon after, arriving unmarked at the back post only to skew his header wide.
The when Williams stabbed Kane Farrell’s cross goalwards in the 73rd minute it seemed inevitable that Portsmouth took the lead six minutes later. Tarbuck’s free-kick from the right hand side found the head of Liam Trigg who glanced his header into the top left-hand corner.
Portsmouth’s comeback complete Southend failed to find an equaliser as they threw numbers forward.
Firstly Pinnock’s centre was turned goalwards by Williams but O’Hara saved at the near-post before Whatmough frustrated Southend once more by charging down substitute Nico Cotton’s fierce shot two minutes in stoppage time.
Blues finished the match with ten men as under 18s skipper Jack Edwards was sent off for pushing out at Jack Maloney seconds before the final whistle as Duncan’s charges bowed out on the South coast.
Southend: Smith, Jeffrey (Snook 87), Farrell, Edwards, Tatham, Banton, Agyakwa (Cotton 60), Bridge, Williams, Payne, Pinnock.
Subs not used: Russo, Barlow, King.