Micky Adams believes Port Vale would have struggled to live down a defeat to Forest Green for years - admitting Ben Williamson's late winner got his side out of jail.
League Two side Vale let their early two-goal lead slip against the Blue Square Bet Premier outfit after James Norwood and home captain Eddie Oshodi cancelled out goals from Ashley Vincent and Clayton McDonald. But Williamson came off the bench to settle it for Vale, much to Adams' relief.
"You can come here and lose the game, and that'll get thrown at you for years and years to come," he said. "So we needed to win, and we did.
"Whether we deserved to on our second-half performance I'm not sure, but we'll take it.
"Ben did fantastically to score the winner. He's a real confidence player. I knew they'd play three in midfield and I thought might suit Louis Dodds and so it proved in the first 20 minutes. Both players have had an impact in the game.
"To be in the second round draw is all that matters, not how we played."
Rovers boss Dave Hockaday claimed his side dominated after the interval.
"I changed things around in the second half and there was only one team in it," he said.
"I've talked to (goalkeeper) Sam Russell and he's had nothing to do. We've missed chances, and again we concede the softest of goals.
"I can't fault the performance and effort, it was super. But we're not managing the moments well enough, and that's what we're getting punished for, we've shot ourselves in the foot. For the first 20 minutes we were all over the shop, like rabbits in the headlights - we never got going. "Once we did, we were outstanding."