Reading boss Nigel Adkins endured an anxious return to the club where he started his managerial career.
He watched his side play second fiddle to Sky Bet League One strugglers Scunthorpe for long spells before an 85th-minute strike from substitute Jake Taylor snatched them a 1-0 Capital One Cup victory.
"This is a special place for me," said Adkins, who twice took Scunthorpe to the Championship level inside three years.
"I spent 14 happy years here and I really appreciate the reception I got from the fans.
"I knew this would be a difficult game for us and credit to Scunthorpe for making it so hard.
"But we are in the next round of the cup and that it the most important thing."
Adkins made three changes from the side humbled 4-0 at Nottingham Forest on Saturday as injuries continue to bite deep into his Reading squad.
And he picked up another when centre-back Shaun Cummings failed to come out or the second half.
"We had 13 players not available for selection for tonight's game," he groaned.
"But after Saturday's game at Middlesbrough there is an international break which perhaps gives us a chance to get one or two back into action.
"What the injuries have done is give an opportunity for us to give some game time to some of the younger players.
"I thought what made the difference tonight was the introduction from the bench of Jake Taylor and Ryan Edwards.
"They gave us more energy and when the chance came to win the game, we were able to take it.
"This is a tough week for us with three away trips with Forest last Saturday followed by Scunthorpe tonight and then Middlesbrough.
"It's a challenge for us with a squad of players that is looking a bit threadbare at the moment."
Scunthorpe manager Russ Wilcox was left cursing his luck after watching his side dominate the game for long spells, without being able to find their finishing touch.
Striker Paddy Madden and midfield man Neal Bishop were both out of luck in front of goal, denied by good saves from goalkeeper Adam Federici.
"I am gutted for the lads - and for the fans, we did not deserve this result," he declared.
"I thought we were the best team for 90 minutes.
"It was probably the best performance we have produced since I have been in charge at this club.
"We were creative and had some good chances. The only thing we are missing at the moment is in front of goal."
Wilcox hopes that this performance will help the Iron establish themselves in League One after a stuttering start which has seen them take just one point from four games so far.
"Our form has been a bit patchy, but that has been due largely to the number of injuries we have picked up and changes we have had to make, said Wilcox.
"But everyone should come away from tonight with great belief and be looking forward now to our home game with Walsall on Saturday.
"I asked them to be brave tonight and I thought we got a response from every one of them.
"But we do need to this more often."