Peterborough boss Darren Ferguson admitted their FA Cup third-round victory over Bristol Rovers was too close for comfort.
The Championship strugglers fluffed a host of glorious chances as they edged past League Two side 2-1.
Sammie Szmodics put Posh ahead in the 17th minute of their first outing since December 18, but Rovers, who were without manager Joey Barton due to Covid-19, replied from the spot courtesy of captain Paul Coutts’ first goal for the club.
It stayed that way until on-loan debutant Bali Mumba struck in the 63rd minute to become an instant Posh hero.
The hosts then squandered a succession of great chances and were almost made to pay, with Rovers substitute Brett Pitman denied by David Cornell late on.
Pitman did succeed in finding the net during a late Rovers rally, but it was long after the whistle had been blown for a foul.
Ferguson said: “Bali gave us energy, got the crowd up and scored a great goal.
“The important thing was to get through, but we shouldn’t have been hanging on. The game should have been over.
“That was the frustrating thing, not to get the third goal especially with the chances we had.
“It meant it was a lot more uncomfortable than it should have been.
“It’s the final pass, the final decision and the final finish that’s not quite right, but at least we are creating.
“We have only got ourselves to blame for making it tough for ourselves, but it’s a win. This time last year we had a horrendous result in the cup.
“The crowd were very good because they could have got frustrated after we conceded such a poor goal.
“My hope is a really good draw, one of the big clubs. Knowing my luck we will get Huddersfield away.”
Rovers coach Andy Mangan said: “I thought the lads put a really good shift in and I’m really proud of them.
“The gaffer watched the game and I know he feels exactly the same way.
“The performance off the ball was really disciplined and there were also times on the ball when we were really good.
“There were a few harum-scarum moments as we were playing a high line, but at 1-1 we were massively in the game and even at 2-1 down we had chances towards the end.
“We had a perfectly good goal disallowed which the referee got wrong. We had the benefit of watching it back again which of course the referees don’t at this level.
“Even though we hadn’t played in almost a month we had Peterborough looking nervous towards the end.
“If we could have got ourselves back to 2-2, I think they could have gone in extra-time.”
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.