A controversial penalty was the difference at Fratton Park as MK Dons were beaten 2-1 by Portsmouth.
Pompey took the lead after two minutes but Russell Martin’s men levelled from the spot courtesy of Scott Fraser.
The hosts, though, were then awarded a dubious penalty of their own midway through the first half – a penalty converted by Elliot Harrison, who proved to be the match winner.
Boss Martin made four changes from the side which drew 1-1 with Ipswich Town in the Dons’ last league outing.
Louis Thompson was handed his first league start of the season while Baily Cargill, Matthew Sorinola and Sam Nombe also came in to the starting line-up. Cameron Jerome, who joined the Dons on Friday, was among the substitutes.
Martin’s side were put on the backfoot right away, conceding a corner inside the opening minute. From that corner, Portsmouth took the lead – Tom Naylor heading in off the crossbar. 1-0.
The Dons, looking for an instant response, saw Scott Fraser send a whipped cross into the area. It was aimed towards Nombe but intercepted by Craig MacGillivray. Fraser delivered another ball in shortly after – this one was headed over by George Williams.
Martin’s men were, though, handed the chance to equalise with 12 minutes on the clock, after Thompson was bundled over inside the area. Fraser took the spot-kick and calmly slotted home his first goal for the Club to level the scores. 1-1.
Referee Lee Swabey was certainly the man in the spotlight as, 11 minutes later, he awarded the hosts a penalty of their own – this time, though, it was unclear as to what the decision was given for. Nonetheless, Elliott Harrison stepped up and restored Pompey’s lead. 2-1.
Fraser created an opportunity to equalise once more, 10 minutes before half-time, playing in Baily Cargill whose fierce cross was glanced wide by Morris.
A high ball in from the right then caused problems for MacGillivray, who failed to hold the cross above Cargill. Both he and Fraser tried to pounce but a Portsmouth defender was able to stab clear.
At the other end, Nicholls got down to his right to keep out a long-range try from Marcus Harness. Nombe then forced MacGillivray into a save with the final chance of the first half.
MacGillivray was called into action again within two minutes of the re-start, diving down to gather an effort from Morris. Fraser also tried his luck early but saw his shot blocked by a defender.
The MK Dons number 10 almost turned provider on 55 minutes, as he delivered a ball across to a sliding Nombe who was denied at point-blank range by MacGillivray, who managed to get the slightest of touches on the ball to divert it wide.
Just before the hour, Sorinola sent a strike narrowly over the crossbar after cutting inside from the right flank. Portsmouth, on the counter, saw Harrison denied by Nicholls at the near post.
Fraser had another sighter on 63 minutes but drilled wide from 25 yards out. Nombe followed shortly afterwards with a left-footed try which he dragged just past the post.
MacGillivray denied Fraser once more, moments before Martin made his first two changes of the game – Jordan Houghton and Jerome replacing Thompson and Nombe.
Jerome was involved early, linking up with Morris before chasing down his teammate’s deflected shot. The debutant was clattered in the air by the Portsmouth keeper, but it was the home man who was on the right end of the referee’s decision.
Lasse Sorensen was Martin’s final roll of the dice. He took a 90th-minute free-kick which was met by the head of Williams but his effort was deflected over the bar.
That proved to be the final opportunity for the Dons, who will look to secure that elusive first win next weekend at Stadium MK when they entertain Gillingham.
MK Dons: Nicholls, Williams, Lewington, Keogh, Cargill, Kasumu, Morris, Fraser, Nombe (Jerome 70), Thompson (Houghton 70), Sorinola (Sorensen 86).
Subs: Walker, Bird, Davies, Freeman
Booked: Lewington, Jerome
Goal: Fraser (12 pen)
Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Johnson, Brown, Naylor, Whatmough, Harrison, Curtis (Nicolaisen 46), Morris, Harness (Marquis 80), Raggett, Jacobs (Williams 87).
Subs: Bass, Close, Cannon, Pring
Goals: Naylor (2), Harrison (23 pen)
Booked: Harrison, Naylor
Referee: L Swabey