Ian Culverhouse told his players to walk out of Fratton Park with pride after their exit from the FA Cup at the hands of Portsmouth.

The Linnets went down 6-1 to the League One promotion hopefuls – a scoreline that was harsh on the visitors, who more than held their own in the first half despite conceding inside two minutes, but wilted under the onslaught of their clinical hosts after the break.

“I said to them in there, ‘you walk out of here with your heads held high,” said the Linnets boss. “There is nothing to be embarrassed about there. They have been fantastic and they kept trying to play the way we want to play, but we just got punished by a very, very good side. You could see the gulf in class from where we are to where they are.

“They were ruthless. We were hoping to catch them when their attitude wasn’t right, but fair play to them, they attacked it really well and their attitude from start to finish was spot on.

“You wouldn’t expect anything less from one of Kenny’s (Jackett) sides, but you could see there they had unbelievable quality.”

That quality exposed Lynn from a corner in the second minute to open the floodgates and punished mistakes with ruthless efficiency.

“It was poor, again from a set play, and when you analyse the goals, they were goals that were preventable. We were in possession of the ball a couple of times and gave it away sloppily and you are just picking it out of the back of the net, but that is the gulf in class - unbelievable.

“But I thought our character from going behind so early was good. We got a little bit of belief, we broke a couple of times on them. We knew they would have bags and bags of possession and when a chance arose we just had to be good at taking our chance but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”