Ronnie Moore admitted Hartlepool United “got out of jail” when they drew 1-1 at Salford City.
The two sides will do battle at Victoria Park a week on Tuesday after battling out a 1-1 draw at a wind-swept Moor Lane live on BBC2.
The spectacle was a poor one for the watching public though, with Moore admitting his Pools side under-performed against the ‘Class of 92’-owned non-league side.
Rhys Oates netted an eighth-minute opener from the penalty spot after winning the spot kick himself.
But Steve O’Halloran swept home an equaliser after 23 minutes.
From then, it was a real battle, with both sides carving out good openings in the second half.
Sub Rakish Bingham and Scott Fenwick were both guilty of missing good chances in front of the 350 travelling fans, while Pools stopper Trevor Carson had to be alert to deny the Salford forward line.
In the end, Moore was happy to be coming away with Pools still in the FA Cup, with the draw for the third round due to be made on Monday night.
Moore said: “It was blowy, horrible game, the pitch is tough here.
“We came and just about got out of jail.
“Salford are a good side, their two managers have done a great job.”
Before Pools can look to secure a place in the third-round draw in the new year, they return to League Two action on Saturday.
Pools travel to Fratton Park against the promotion-chasers before they can start thinking about a return match against the Evo Stik Northern Premier Division team.
Moore added: “There is Portsmouth first, the pitch will be a lot better there.
“The pitch was in Salford’s favour, without doubt.
“But we should have more of an advantage when we get to our place.
“I think 1-1 was a good result for us in the end.”