Despite a strong performance, the Iron bowed out of the Leasing.com Trophy in a quarter-final defeat as Portsmouth progressed.
John Marquis opened the scoring for Pompey as the hosts took a 1-0 lead into the break. Abo Eisa spectacularly levelled proceedings for United in the second period but former loanee Cameron McGeehan restored the lead.
His opposite number Rory Watson was called into action in the seventh minute of the contest. Gareth Evans brought the ball under his spell and lined up a shot but Watson parried it to safety, with Harrison McGahey sweeping up the rebound.
With 12 minutes on the clock, Junior Brown made a goal-saving block, getting his body in the way of Marcus Harness’ effort which looked destined for the back of the net.
However, just a minute later, Portsmouth took the lead. Marquis made it 1-0 from close range, turning and shooting inside the area, to hand the hosts an advantage in the cup competition.
On the 15-minute mark, Alex Gilliead let fly from 25-yards but saw his strike blocked by a blue shirt.
With 27 minutes played, McGeehan took aim from inside the box but it flashed just wide of the upright.
Portsmouth were awarded a free-kick after Harness was brought down just outside the area. Evans’ set piece arched around the wall but fizzed over the bar.
With five minutes of the half remaining, Watson pulled a superb save out of the bag. The shot-stopper tipped Marquis’ half-volley behind after he found himself on the end of a long ball.
James Perch went close for the Iron in the 41st minute after some good work down the right channel, but MacGillivray was on hand to make the stop.
Early in the second period, the Iron won a series of corners. Lee Novak pounced on the ball after the set piece wasn’t properly cleared but saw his effort blocked, as did Perch, before the hosts eventually got the ball away.
In the 57th minute, Matthew Lund teed up Eisa whose 35-yard effort whistled just wide for United.
The Iron and Eisa got their reward in the 62nd minute when the winger picked up the ball, checked onto his right foot and fired into the top corner and beyond MacGillivray to make it 1-1.
A minute later, the Iron looked to use that momentum as Eisa made headway down the left and slid the ball into John McAtee whose effort was blocked.
The parity didn’t last long as the hosts re-took the lead through McGeehan who made it 2-1 to Pompey with 66 minutes on the watch.
With 20 minutes remaining, Watson pulled off a point blank save to deny Marquis a second from close range after Harness cut the ball back to the frontman.
United continued to press for an equaliser, with Brown twice testing MacGillivray, latching onto a cross into the box, but the ‘keeper made the save to preserve Pompey’s lead and it finished 2-1 to the hosts.
PORTSMOUTH: MacGillivray, Bolton (Burgess 49’), Whatmough, Raggett, Haunstrup, Close, McGeehan, Harness (Naylor 88’), Evans, Williams, Marquis.
PORTSMOUTH UNUSED SUBS: Bass, Seddon, Cannon, Hawkins, Hackett-Fairchild.
IRON: Watson, Lund, Perch, Novak (van Veen 77’), Gilliead, Sutton (Miller 89’), McGahey, Brown, Eisa, Bedeau, McAtee (Beestin 79’).
IRON UNUSED SUBS: Collins, Butler, Rowe, Hornshaw.
ATTENDANCE: 5,382 (85 away).