Clinical Mikael Ndjoli scored twice as Hartlepool United broke their duck for the season with a 2-0 win over Harrogate Town.
The summer signing tucked away his chances on 17 and 33 to settle this entertaining all-League Two Papa John’s Trophy tie at the Suit Direct Stadium.
Pools boss Paul Hartley made four changes to the side which lost at Leyton Orient with Rollin Menayese resuming at the back, Brodie Paterson starting at left wingback with Mouhamed Niang and Tom Crawford coming into midfield.
Ndjoli threatened for the first time on five minutes when Pools left him on half-way when defending a corner.
Ben Killip’s long ball forward caused chaos at the back for Town, who were grateful to get the ball clear.
Jack Muldoon brought a save from Killip on 12 minutes as Harrogate looked bright going forward.
But it was Pools who took the lead five minutes later with a beautifully crafted goal, inspired by Wes McDonald and finished simply by Ndjoli for his first Pools goal.
McDonald took Pools forward and his ball in was knocked by Jamie Sterry into the path of Ndjoli who could not miss at the Rink End.
The same men were involved as Pools doubled their lead in the 33rd minute.
McDonald’s delivery from the left was headed back by Sterry with Niang unselfishly nodding it in the path of Ndjoli who headed in.
It wasn’t all Pools and the hosts were indebted to two blinding saves by Killip, first keeping out Tyler Frost on 42 minutes and then an unbelievable stop to thwart Jal Headley two minutes later low down to his right.
Harrogate boss Simon Weaver sent on Luke Armstrong on 59 minutes and the promotion hero received a warm welcome.
But there was almost a breathtaking Crawford goal for the 1,500 fans to cheer.
The midfielder, spotting Pete Jameson off his line, attempted an audacious chip from 45 yards which the keeper just got back to tip over his own bar.
Hartley made a double Pools change midway through the half, taking off star turns Ndjoli and McDonald with Jack Hamilton and Joe Grey coming on.
Sterry warmed the gloves of Jameson with a piledriver while Killip maintained an impressive display between the sticks for Pools.
He first saved low to his left from a neat turn and shot by Armstrong, who also let fly with a vicious effort six minutes from time which his old team-mate was equal to.
Killip, a man-of-the-match contender, saved again in the first minute of stoppage time from Muldoon to ensure Hartley’s team kept a clean sheet.
Pools: Killip; Menayese, Lacey, Murray; Sterry, Featherstone, Crawford, Niang, Paterson; McDonald (Grey 66), Ndjoli (Hamilton 66). Subs (not used): Letheren, Tumilty, Ferguson, Sylla, Taylor
Goals: Ndjoli 17, 33
Booked: Sterry 21
Harrogate: Jameson; Burrell, Ferguson (Hayes 63), Richards; Ramsay, Falkingham (Horbury 27), Austerfield, Headley; Frost; Daly, Muldoon.
Subs (Not used): Oxley, Ilesdanmi, Tweed
Booked: Burrell 14,
Referee: Anthony Backhouse
Attendance: 1,500 (away 75)