Portsmouth manager Kenny Jackett saluted his much-changed Pompey team following their Checkatrade Trophy progression.
The Blues won 1-0 at Crawley Town last night to secure their passage into the second round, with one group game to spare.
Dion Donohue grabbed the decisive goal on 37 minutes against the League Two outfit – in his first match of the season following an injury and illness-ravaged period on the sidelines.
There was also a debut for 16-year-old academy defender Haji Mnoga, becoming the second-youngest in Pompey’s post-war history in the process.
That record still belongs to Joe Hancott – who retains the crown he captured in August 2017, also arriving in the Checkatrade Trophy.
And with nine changes in total to the side which lost to Gillingham in League One last weekend, Jackett was delighted with how the Blues fared.
Only Gareth Evans and Ben Close survived following Saturday’s first defeat of the season.
The manager said: “We’re pleased to get through. Wins against Gillingham and Crawley take us through qualification with one game still to go in the group..
“It was also getting back to winning ways quickly after Saturday’s defeat.
“As a group, although it was a much-changed team for us, it was good to experiment, to look at several people who haven’t had many minutes yet because the team has been quite settled - and then a promising youngster in Haji (Mnoga) as well.
“It was also good for us to be able to change things around slightly in the second half by going three a the back and hopefully the league games can benefit from that.
“There weren’t many chances at all, a quality goal from Donohue stood out - and in the end has made the difference.”
Pompey return to Checkatrade Trophy action on November 13 when Spurs’ under-21 side travel Fratton Park in Southern Group A.
The Blues are back in league action on Saturday, when they travel to AFC Wimbledon for a 3pm kick off.