Much of the focus ahead of kick-off was on how new signing Reeco Hackett-Fairchild would fare.
But Haji Mnoga was also making his maiden Pompey appearance of the season in the Leasing.com Trophy tie at Walsall.
The teenage defender penned his first professional contract just before Christmas after recovering from a foot injury.
And he produced an assured display in the 2-1 triumph that sent the Blues into the quarter-finals, before being withdrawn just past the hour mark.
Mnoga said: “I’m obviously happy to be around the team and played a few games in this competition last season.
“I’ve been with the squad for the matches over Christmas and travelling with the guys, but it’s massive to be out on the pitch getting some minutes.
"Everyone wants to get to Wembley – it’s every boy’s dream to play there. I definitely think we can get there again."
“When I saw that I was starting, I was delighted. I was nervous, but I always feel like that before a game.
“But I wanted to help the team and I thought that I did alright, even though I haven’t actually played in a while.
“I always thought that I might get a run-out in this competition, especially with all the games over Christmas, so I made sure that I was prepared.
“Everyone wants to get to Wembley – it’s every boy’s dream to play there. I definitely think we can get there again.”
Mnoga felt that he might have received an opportunity in the senior side earlier in the campaign had he been fit.
The full-back said: “It was frustrating because there weren’t too many players in my position, so I knew I could have been in the team.
“I might have got a bit more experience, but I’m happy to be back now and it would be great if I could make my league debut this season.
“That’s my ultimate goal and what I’m really looking for, although a few more cup games would obviously be nice as well.”