Manager Paul Murray says Hartlepool United avoided embarrassment against East Thurrock in progressing to the FA Cup second round with a 2-0 home win.
Pools, bottom of League Two, avoided becoming a cup upset against the Isthmian League Premier Division side thanks to Jonathan Franks' brace.
"It was always going to be a difficult tie because people we tipping us to lose," Murray told BBC Tees.
"The lads did really well to get through to the next round."
Murray added: "They [East Thurrock] would have looked at it from the point of view that we're struggling at the bottom of League Two and it's a chance to cause an upset.
"We grew into the game, made some opportunities, didn't take them but eventually got the goal and took it on from there."
The Victoria Park club were without a win in four before Saturday's game, and had scored just 12 in 16 league matches going into the game, but for Murray the dominance they enjoyed in the cup can be taken into their league campaign.
"It's a boost no matter who you're playing," Murray said.
"It was a difficult tie, we created 14 or 15 opportunities but we need to be more clinical.
"We've just signed a striker, Scott Fenwick, who has a great scoring record so in terms of confidence we need to go to Southend and get a really good result."