Hughes came off the bench to bring down Craig Westcarr's cross and tuck the ball past Robins goalkeeper Phil Smith with three minutes remaining.
"Full credit to the lads because they are the ones out there doing the work," said Ince, who prior to this much-needed victory had overseen three consecutive League One defeats.
He added: "We've been playing well and things just haven't gone our way. We came here with this club in 15th place, and a lot of work to do.
"We are trying to move this club forwards and sometimes we've got to urge the lads on."
On the timely introduction of goalscorer Hughes, Ince said: "Lee has been ill for eight days and hasn't trained. It was always our intention to give him 10 or 15 minutes, and he's got us the goal."