ALBION fell to a 4-2 defeat for the second weekend in a row as former Brewer Marcus Harness struck a hat-trick on his return to the Pirelli Stadium.
Harness had Pompey ahead inside two minutes firing in low to Ben Garratt's right before backheeling in an equaliser early in the second half after Lucas Akins and an own goal from Tom Naylor had put Albion in front at the break.
Once level again Portsmouth went on to take all three points as defender Jack Watmough poked in at a corner and Harness completed his treble with a smart turn inside the box and a chipped finish to round things off.
Albion showed two changes to the starting line-up as they looked to recover swiftly from defeat at Swindon last time out. With both injuries and suspensions easing there were returns to the line-up for both Charles Vernam and John-Joe O'Toole. Vernam had not featured since coming off midway through the second half of the season opener against Accrington Stanley in the Carabao Cup and came back in at the expense of Steve Lawless who dropped to the bench. O'Toole meanwhile slotted back into the defence after his red card late on in the first league fixture against Fleetwood Town, Kieran Wallace the unlucky man to miss and and joining Lawless on the bench. Also making it onto the bench was Kieran O'Hara, included in the squad for the first time since returning to the club on a permanent basis following his release by Manchester United in the close season.
Pompey featured three faces in their starting line-up familiar to Brewers fans. Tom Naylor and Marcus Harness who both joined Kenny Jackett's side directly from Albion were joined by Bryn Morris who had a short spell on loan with the club during Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's time in charge at the Pirelli.
And it was Harness who struck the opening blow with a precise right foot finish low into the corner of the net with less than ninety seconds on the clock. Michael JAcobs tried to work his way into a shooting position inside the box but a challenge on him saw the ball break for HARNESS who calmly made room for the shot and a goal to mark his return to his former side.
Pompey should have been two to the good on nine minutes when some neat passing sent Ryan Williams scampering clear from just inside the Burton half but reaching the edge of the box he drilled an angled effort wide of Ben Garratt's post. A real let off.
Albion got themselves back on level terms on 14 minutes with their first meaningful attack on the Pompey goal. Kane Hemmings did well to set Ryan Edwards free on the right to burst into the box and was then on the end of the midfielder's low cross only to see his effort blocked inside the six yard box but the ball fell kindly for AKINS to fire home inside the near post.
Burton had their tails up now and they moved in front on 20 minutes through an own goal from one of their old boys. Colin Daniel played Joe Powell in down the left hand side of the box and his low cross was inadvertently turned into his own net by NAYLOR.
Ellis Harrison found himself in the book when he arrived late for a 50-50 ball with Ben Fox which had referee Nield reaching for his yellow card when it could quite possibly have been red.
Harness was sniffing out a second goal when Pompey strung some good sharp passes together on 35 minutes but forced a bit wider than he would have liked his angled effort finished wide of the far post.
Both physios were required on 37 minutes when a Portsmouth corner was met by Sean Raggett at about the same time that skipper John Brayford went to get his block in. Both players despite initial concerns were fine to continue.
Pompey should have been level on the stroke of half time as Garratt get hands to Williams' stinging effort and Harness failed to sort his feet out in time to convert a simple tap-in on the rebound. Another good chance gone begging for the visitors.
Half time: Burton Albion 2-1 Portsmouth
Pompey made a bright start to the second half and just as they did in the first half found the back of the net within two minutes of the whistle, HARNESS cheekily backheeling the ball into the net after a scramble from a corner.
Harrison kept looking bright for Pompey and after hooking an effort over teh bar as he slipped to the ground he earned his side a dangerous free-kick on 57 minutes that Jacobs whipped onto the roof of the net from 25 yards and the former Wigan man was not far away with a rising effort moments later as Harness slipped him in down the left.
Portsmouth pressure told on the hour mark as they regained the lead. A corner deep to the back post was headed back into the danger area by Harrison and it was left to WATMOUGH to apply a close range finish.
Albion rung the changes on 66 minutes with both recent loan signings thrown into the fray in place of Quinn and Vernam.
Much as Albion tried to get themselves back into the game they were dealt another blow when HARNESS completed his hat-trick turning smartly inside the box to chip the ball into the far corner.
Steve Lawless was brought on for Joe Powell as Albion chased something to try and get back into the game but the visitors stood strong to see the game out.