Super-sub John Herron earned Blackpool a second round trip to Crystal Palace in the EFL Cup, crediting the Bloomfield Road fans and his own selfish streak.
Pool’s reward for their 4-2 first-round win over Bolton on Tuesday is a visit to the London Premier League club the week after next.
While some of Gary Bowyer’s squad played the full 120 minutes against Bolton just three days after the League Two opener against Exeter, it was Herron’s fresh legs which inspired the extra-time win.
Brought on for the final 15 minutes, the 22-year-old set up Jim McAlister for Pool’s third and then sealed victory with a delightful chip, his first goal in English football.
Herron, who managed only 14 appearances in his first season outside his native Scotland, wasn’t in the match-day squad for Saturday’s 2-0 win.
The former Celtic midfielder said: “It is a team game, so as the gaffer said he needs everyone involved, whether you are in the squad or not. The squad can change so quickly.
“The main thing is the team, but If you are not playing you’ve got to be selfish and look after yourself to make sure that when you are called upon you are ready. That is what I have done.
“The main thing was to get through to the next round but it is always good to cap it off with a goal.
“I think the fans got behind us and we have got to give them credit. I think they kept going and pushed the boys on.
“Sport science is important as well. The coaching staff keep drilling it into us to keep playing until the final whistle goes and I thought the defence was excellent.”
It was also McAlister’s first goal since moving south of the border last summer.
And Herron says he would not have squared the ball so unselfishly for anyone else.
He explained: “I thought Jim made a good run and deserved that goal. He’s been trying his luck for a year and a half now, so if it was anyone else I would have had a shot. But it was Jimbo, so I didn’t mind.
“We knew each other before we came here. We have a good friendship and it will remain that way.”
Pool will face Bolton again in the new Checkatrade Trophy and have confirmed that their first group game at home to Cheltenham Town will take place on Tuesday, August 30 at 7.45pm. Tickets will be priced £10, with concessions at £7 (over-60s) and £5 (under-19s).