Liam Daish was pleased with the efforts of his young Pompey charges in their Hampshire Cup second round tie at Basingstoke.
The Blues won 5-4 on penalties following a goalless draw with Basingstoke at The Winklebury Stadium.
Alex Bass saved twice in the shoot-out and was joined in the side by fellow first teamers Paul Downing, Connor Ogilvie, Michael Jacobs and Gassan Ahadme.
But the rest of the squad was made up of teenagers from the academy and Daish felt they rose to the occasion.
Professional development phase coach Liam Daish said: “It was a really good night for the young lads and something that’s new for them.
“They had the opportunity to play against senior players in front of a good crowd. It’s a useful learning experience.
"It was all about that experience for our youngsters, while some of the senior pros got the minutes they needed."
“It’s totally different from academy football because you’re up against men and there’s more intensity.
“There’s a physical challenge they had to deal with, but I felt they did well and I was pleased with them.
“Fair play to Basingstoke because they kept going right to the very end and made it really difficult for us.
“We just needed that bit of quality in the final third that would have ensured it was a bit more comfortable for us.
“But it was all about that experience for our youngsters, while some of the senior pros got the minutes they needed.
“Their attitude towards our guys from the academy was first class and that’s something I really appreciate.”