Port Vale boss Micky Adams was full of praise for skipper Doug Loft after his 84th-minute winner secured a 2-1 win over Crawley.
Loft needed a stroke of luck as his 20-yard shot slipped through the fingers of visiting goalkeeper Paul Jones and rolled over the line.
It was tough on Crawley who had dominated much of the game until midfielder Dannie Bulman was sent off for a second yellow card in the 66th minute.
But Adams said: "Doug always give his all and plays in all sort of positions so I'm really pleased for him. He's a great lad and he can be proud of what he has achieved at this football club.
"Not everything he does comes off for him, but that is usually the case for players at this level.
"I usually tell him not to shoot from that distance because his technique is average to say the least. He usually leans back and fires the ball well over the bar.
"But thankfully on this occasion he decided to take no notice of me and give it a go. Their goalkeeper has had a disaster, but if you don't shoot, you don't score.
"The ball bounced just in front of the keeper and it was a difficult save to make, but I'm sure he will be disappointed not to have made it."