Harley and Nicholls secure City's place in second roundLine-Ups
Exeter City: Olejnik, Butterfield, Woodman, Harley (Jay 60'), Holmes (Reid 75'), Nicholls, Moore-Taylor, Oyeleke, Wheeler (Morrison 60'), McCready, Tillson (capt).
Subs: Hamon, Brown.
Goals: Harley 65', Nicholls 72'
Portsmouth: Jones, Webster, McGurk (Oxlade-Chamberlain 76'), Barton, Tollitt, Chaplin, May, Joseph-Buadi (Naismith 66'), Close (capt), Davies, Haunstrup (Haitham 81').
Subs: Bass, Yates.
GOALS FROM Ryan Harley and Alex Nicholls secured Exeter City their place in the second round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy with a 2-0 win over Portsmouth at St James Park.
Jordan Moore-Taylor made his return to the starting line-up to complete his return from a lengthy injury lay-off, while Craig Woodman, Alex Nicholls, Manny Oyeleke and Tom McCready also came into the Exeter City side. Portsmouth, meanwhile, fielded a very young eleven, with their local press insisting that the club would be happy to take the competition fine for making too many changes from their weekend league match.
Danny Butterfield had two early half-chances in the opening ten minutes, first firing over from Lee Holmes' pass from the right, before Calvin Davies charged out to block his second effort just on the edge of the Portsmouth penalty area. After Tom McCready's shot was saved by Paul Jones.
But the best effort of the half came just before the break, as Portsmouth's Conor Chaplin curling a free-kick onto the bar - Chaplin had had an earlier effort saved by Olejnik after he was played through by Adam May.
HALF-TIME: EXETER CITY 0-0 PORTSMOUTH
Manny Oyeleke centred for Ryan Harley to shoot wide in the first notable effort of the second period five minutes into it, but Harley would put City into the lead five minutes after that, sending Paul Jones the wrong way from the spot after Tom McCready was pulled down by Brandon Joseph-Buadi.
One became two when Alex Nicholls burst clear to finish with just under twenty minutes of normal time left - former City goalkeeper Jones got a hand to it, but it wasn't nearly enough to stop Nicholls doubling City's lead.
Conor Chaplin sent a free-kick so waywardly high that it hit the Portsmouth team bus, which just happened to be returning to St James Park, and that summed up the difficult afternoon for the inexperienced Portsmouth side. Ben Tollitt unleashed a rifled drive in injury time, but that was that as City held on.
City advance to the second round, with the draw to be made on Saturday's episode of Soccer AM.
FULL-TIME: EXETER CITY 2-0 PORTSMOUTH
Attendance: 2,323 (515 away)
Man of the Match: Alex Nicholls