Clive Allen was delighted his reserve side kept the title race alive by coming through a 'massive test' at Stoke on Wednesday night.
The team lost Jake Livermore to a straight red card after just 10 minutes but still dominated at Nantwich Town's Weaver Stadium.
In a game they had to win, they hit the woodwork three times and forced home keeper Tom Harrison into a string of fine saves but had to settle for one, vital goal - Ryan Mason heading home John Bostock's cross for the 1-0 scoreline.
The win means we can still overhaul leaders Villa as long as they lose against West Brom on Monday and we beat Chelsea on Monday and Pompey on May 4. If Villa draw and we win both games it will go to goal difference.
"It was a massive test for a lot of the players," said Clive. "The experienced lads showed great composure and it's testament to them that Stoke only had one shot on goal in the 90 minutes.
"Our control in possession was excellent and I made it that we had 12 clear-cut goalscoring opportunities and that came from some fantastic interplay and a great work ethic.
"I didn't think we were going to concede and it was just a case of how and when we were going to score that all-important goal.
"You do think it could be one of those nights - we dominated but the keeper made some fantastic saves - he had to.
"We needed to show patience and belief and in the end it was 1-0 but it could have been a much more convincing scoreline."