Roy Keane heaped praise on both sets of players after a David Norris brace gave his Ipswich side a 3-2 extra-time victory at Exeter.
Keane named five youngsters in his Carling Cup side, which was weakened by injury and international call-ups, but eventually saw them secure progression after Norris' double and a header from substitute Ronan Murray cancelled out Ryan Harley's brace for Exeter.
"It was a good game, it was a good battle out there," said the Irishman. "I think both teams would have been disappointed to go to extra-time, the players certainly didn't need it, but we are glad to win the game.
"You have to give great credit to both teams, there were a lot of young players out there and credit to both sets of players because I think the fitness levels were outstanding. I think we were all tired watching it never mind playing 120 minutes.
"I thought the young lads did really well but the older guys did as well. They really led by example.
"Great credit to Exeter, they were outstanding. I think what really summed it up was that they had a young boy when we were breaking that came across and made a brilliant sliding tackle. I thought that desire and work-rate summed up the two teams."