Ilfracombe Town manager Ross Middleton praised his young defence for a strong performance in last night's 3-2 win over Willand Rovers.
The Bluebirds beat their Toolstation Western League rivals in the Devon St Luke's Cup, setting up a trip to Torquay United in the second round.
Steve Holland put them ahead and Stan Paxton scored twice for a 3-0 lead inside an hour.
A fine defensively display was only marred by two late goals by Jules Emati-Emati, the Willand substitute.
At the age of 23, Craig Allan was the most experienced player in the home back line. The rest, including Kurtis Parkin, the goalkeeper, Ian Cockwill, Lewis Ovey and Liam Craze only have a handful of Western League appearances between them.
Injuries and unavailability meant Shaun Lewis, the forward, was asked to step out of retirement and take a place on the bench.
"We had a crazily depleted team," said Middleton. "The lads played absolutely brilliantly.
"We were a bit gutted to concede two right at the end because it makes it look like it was a tight game."
Ilfracombe Town: Kurtis Parkin, Ian Cockwill, Craig Allan, Lewis Ovey, Liam Craze, Steve Holland, Kane Dryden, Ross Middleton, Jamie Bright, Stan Paxton, Frank Paxton. Subs: Shaun Lewis, Luke Evans, Jon Vooght.