Micky Adams admitted Ben Williamson's late winner got his side out of jail in their FA Cup first-round win at Forest Green.
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 it 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."