Paul Hardyman believes two-goal Brad Tarbuck would benefit from another loan spell away from Pompey.
Playing on the right wing, the 19-year-old struck a double for the reserves in their 3-3 draw at Plymouth yesterday and went close to grabbing a hat-trick after his header was well saved by the Argyle goalkeeper.
Substitute Lewis Gill – another homegrown youngster – earned a deserved share of the spoils with a late leveller for a young Pompey side, while Tom Craddock continued his return to full fitness with another outing.
Tarbuck made just three substitute appearances on loan at Conference Premier outfit Dartford recently.
But Hardyman believes the youngster needs more first-team football to continue his development.
The Blues coach said: ‘He’s been really unfortunate this season, but fair play to him for working his way back.
‘He was flying in pre-season and looked really sharp but then got that injury, which made things difficult for him.
‘I think he was out for nearly three months.
‘He had to work his way back to fitness but I thought he looked really sharp and his all-round play was excellent.
‘He might have had a hat-trick but the keeper made a fantastic save.
‘It was a bit stop-start for him at Dartford. It didn’t really work out to be honest.
‘He was training with us but then turning up to play games for them, which is not ideal.
‘From a manager’s point of view, if you don’t see a lad in training, it’s hard to know what you are going to get from him so it’s hard to throw him into the side.
‘I think it would be beneficial for him and others to get them into a first-team football environment.’
Michael Poke was called into early action to deny Nathan Thomas with a fine save but he was powerless to prevent Tyler Harvey from opening the scoring on 13 minutes.
Tarbuck netted the first of three Pompey equalisers when he pounced to slam home a rebound from close range but Plymouth then regained the lead when Harvey curled home a free-kick before the interval.
Pompey were back on terms just beyond the hour mark through Tarbuck’s solo effort as he left two defenders trailing in his wake before slotting home.
Plymouth appeared to have claimed victory when Marvin Morgan put his side ahead with 15 minutes left, but Gill came off the bench and had the final say, finding the corner with his shot late on.
The Blues might have even nicked it at the death when Conor Chaplin fired narrowly wide but Hardyman was pleased with his men.
He said: ‘The lads were fantastic. We played really well.
‘They had a few first-team players playing and we had a really young side out.
‘But we were slick with our passing and it was a good performance.
‘We made three silly defensive errors for their goals but we played some great football at times.
‘I was really proud of them.’
POMPEY RESERVES: Poke, Field, Nilsen, Whatmough, Butler, Awford (Granger, 71), Close, Haunstrup (Gill, 76), Tarbuck, Chaplin, Craddock (Rwakarambwe, 88). Sub not used: Bass.