Martin Ling admitted Torquay were lucky to extend their unbeaten record after surviving a second-half barrage from Port Vale to draw 1-1.
Ling was without seven players through suspension and injuries and he drafted in youngsters Nathan Craig and Kirtys Mackenzie for their full debuts.
But Vale still needed a bizarre own goal from Brian Saah, who headed into his own net when unchallenged, to cancel out a first-half strike from Ian Morris.
Ling said: "It would have been a smash-and-grab victory and, to be honest, it was a smash-and-grab point.
"Being without so many players was always going to have an effect, but MacKenzie was outstanding at the back and we've scrapped away for a good point.
"There was a lack of fluency to our play and we had to defend for our lives. We allowed Vale to put too many crosses into our box and they put us under a lot of pressure."