Pompey slipped out of the Capital Cup tonight with a 3-0 defeat at Stoke tonight.
Jonathan Walters opened the scoring in the 16th minute of a game the Premier League outfit dominated.
And he tapped in a second two minutes after the restart from a pass from the outstanding Victor Moses.
The Blues were indebted to Paul Jones for making a string of top-drawer saves in front of a crowd of 10,312.
Jones continued his excellent form and, in reality, kept the score down.
But he couldn’t keep out Peter Crouch’s header in the 90th minute.
It took 16 minutes for Stoke’s superiority to tell.
Crouch had already headed wide when a superb Marc Muniesa cross was stabbed home by Walters.
Jones then pulled out a superb double stop to deny Crouch and the impressive Moses.
The Blues No1 was keeping his team in the game and denied Walters after 22 minutes.
Then Crouch spectacularly blazed over before Jed Wallace dragged a speculative shot wide.
Jack Whatmough limped off to be replaced by Paul Robinson after 34 minutes.
Jones made two more saves before the break – first keeping out Charlie Adam’s 25-yarder.
The one on the half-time whistle was the best of the opening period, though, as he somehow denied Robert Huth despite being grounded after a melee.
But Jones could nothing to stop Stoke getting a second after the restart as Moses reached the byline and crossed for Walters to tap home.
Wallace had Pompey’s best chance of the game after 50 minutes, when he beat Andy Wilkinson and his shot ricocheted inches from Nick Awford.
Then Jones made another double stop to deny Moses and Crouch.
The saves from Jones kept coming as he denied Adam before Holmes countered and saw his angled drive tipped over.
Wallace dragged a shot wide late on before Jones kept out Steve Sidwell’s 30-yarder.
It was Pompey old boy Crouch who got a third goal right at the death, as he nodded home.