But head coach O'Driscoll declined to label it a turning point and said: "Everyone was saying that when we won at Carlisle recently and we then turned in our worst display of the season against Oldham on Saturday.
"I'm pleased for the players and the supporters because they have been through a lot. We are trying to win over hearts and minds at the moment with what we are trying to do at the club and results like this certainly help.
"It wasn't the quality of our football that won us the game. But the players dug in and showed some character when Crawley tried to get some fluidity into their play.
"The victory gives us something to build on. I want to see us pass the ball better and there was a shortage of confidence at times but the attitude was right and that is very important."
Emmanuel-Thomas capitalised on a slip by Kyle McFadzean to move in one-on-one with goalkeeper Paul Jones and coolly slot his 12th goal of the season 10 minutes from time.
The former Arsenal player then turned goal maker as Bryan beat the offside trap to race onto his pass and hammer an 87th minute shot past Jones with his left foot.
Jamie Proctor twice went close for Crawley between the goals, having a header tipped over and shooting too high from a good position.
It was a fourth successive defeat for the visitors and manager Richie Barker was frustrated at the outcome.
"For 80 minutes we did most things right. Unfortunately games last for 90 minutes," he said.
"If it had stayed at 0-0 it would have been a good game for us. But our decision making let us down with 10 minutes to go and poor defending cost us the opening goal.
"In the first half we were excellent and with better decisions in the final third we would have got on the end of something and taken control.
"We were beaten by a penalty on Saturday and a mistake here when we deserved something from both games. We just have to keep working and hope things turn for us, which I am sure will be the case."
The first half was a bad advertisement for League One football as both sides gave the ball away continuously and barely mounted a worthwhile attack between them.
The only goal attempt of note came from Crawley's Emile Sinclair, whose powerful drive from the edge of the box was parried to safety by City goalkeeper Elliot Parish after 16 minutes.