|Portsmouth 3 v 0 Birmingham City|
Tuesday, 6th August 2019 Kick-off 19:45
Harrison and Close batter Birmingham for Pompey to progress
Tuesday, 6th Aug 2019 22:09 by pompey-fans.com staff
Pompey got their season's win tally off and running with a comfortable victory over Championship side Birmingham at a half-full Fratton Patk.
City may have rested a number of their first-choice league team but that should take little away from an efficient and clinical Pompey performance that will have lifted players and fans alike after the opening League One game ended in defeat at Shrewsbury on Saturday.
Pompey made three changes as Ellis Harrison, Ben Close and Andy Cannon came in for starts.
A series of corners led to Pompey's opener on the half hour. From one, Tom Naylor had his header blocked by a defender but Harrison pounced to force the ball over the line despite Wes Harding's efforts to clear.
Pompey had one foot in the second round 10 minutes later with a second goal. Ronan Curtis's effort was blocked but it fell for Close to volley home.
Birmingham looked subdued and sure enough Pompey made sure of their progress nine minutes into the second half when Curtis crossed for Harrison to score his second of the night - giving Kenny Jackett plenty to ponder as he plots his line-up at home to Tranmere on Saturday.
Birmingham kept battling away but if anyone looked likely to get a fourth goal in the game it was Pompey.
All in all this was a pleasing night for Jackett's men, who must now aim to carry this form into the League One campaign after the false start in Shropshire.
Pompey: MacGillivray; Walkes, Downing (Raggett 85), Burgess, Brown (Haunstrup 77); Naylor, Close; Harness, Cannon, Curtis; Harrison (Pitman 77). Subs not used: Bass, Evans, Maloney, Hawkins
Referee: Neil Hair
Attendance: 9,913 (1,513 away fans)