Carlisle manager Greg Abbott admitted it was the result rather than the performance that satisfied him after they beat Port Vale on penalties in the Johnstone`s Paint Trophy.
The Cumbrians, last season's beaten finalists, appeared to be heading out of the competition at the second-round stage as they trailed 2-0 with 14 minutes left after an own goal from Oliver Norwood and a Marc Richards header. But goals from James Chester and Jason Price sent the tie to penalties.
Goalkeeper Adam Collin then saved from Tommy Fraser and Louis Dodds in the shoot-out, leaving skipper Frank Simek to fire home the decisive kick.
Abbott said: "We're in the next round, that's the key. I thought the team showed a bit of spirit and character. We got through and that's what competitions are all about.
"Even at two down, I felt if we could keep the keeper under pressure we would be okay. Parts of the game were okay and parts not so good, but we won the game and now we can draw a line under it."
Abbott also praised Collin, who made two vital saves in the shoot-out, adding: "We have a good keeper and some good penalty-takers too. Adam is very good at penalty saves. He's a big unit and I'm very pleased with him."