The Owls sailed through to the fourth round courtesy of goals for Adam Reach and Callum Paterson but much of the focus will be on a brave display from a defence including rookies Ciaran Brennan, Ryan Galvin and man of the match Liam Shaw, who raced the length of the pitch to assist Paterson.
Speaking after the game, Holdsworth said: “Young players are all the same whether it is at our club or another football club, they’ve got to be given a chance and that’s when we find out whether they are ready or good enough to play at that level.
“The lads at the back were excellent after the first 10 minutes, they grew into it and they didn’t put a foot wrong. They got a little bit of cramp towards the end of the game, but that’s to be expected.
“Then Declan Thompson and Isaac Rice came on towards the end. It was a really professional performance from all the lads.”
The Owls named only four players on the bench despite a handful of absent senior players understood to have made the trip to Exeter. Wednesday confirmed that goalkeeping coach Nicky Weaver was confirmed with a positive Covid-19 test but stand-in manager was unable to comment on any further absences.
“It is what it is,” he said. “We’ve been dealt a hand and we’ve cracked on with it. It’s always difficult when personnel is down, whether it’s injury or illness or whatever it might be.
“But that’s what your squad is there for. When you’ve got issues like that they have to be able to come in and make a difference and they’ve done that today.”
“It was a professional performance, a scrappy performance at times. We’re playing on a tough wicket. But the aim was to get a win and a pleasing performance and we’ve done that.
“It always gives you a bigger smile on your face when you see young lads go into that environment and do really well.”