Southampton loanee Josh Sims helped defeat his parent club’s local rivals as he set up the winning goal for new side Doncaster in a hard-fought 1-0 victory at Portsmouth.

Sims, a second-half substitute, teased the home team down their left in the 79th minute, before laying the ball off for Reece James to turn and curl into the net from 14 yards out.

It was a rare piece of quality in a game which would have done little to persuade absent League One fans they were missing out.

Doncaster had the better of an uninspiring first half and created the best of the half-chances, as it took Pompey around 35 minutes to enjoy a decent spell of possession.

Yet the closest either team came to breaking the deadlock was when home defender Sean Raggett fired a defensive clearance wide when cutting out a dangerous James cross.

Ten minutes after the break, Fejiri Okenabirhie forced Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray into a full-length save but that was as exciting as it got until James scored the winner.