CROATIAN striker Dreniz Bala came off the bench to transform Dudley Town’s fortunes against Cradley Town.
Bala had been the victim of a bad tackle during Dudley’s 5-3 mid-week success over Trysull in the JW Hunt Cup.
Robins manager Andy Wyton said: “He turned up for the game against Cradley and I didn’t quite know what to do with him, so I left him on the bench.
“I brought him on in the second half when we were level at 1-1 and he completely changed the game by holding the ball up.”
Rob Whitley had given Dudley the lead but Chris Bladen levelled for Cradley by half time.
Dudley stepped up a gear in the second half and scored through Rion Francis-Mills, Adam Callinswood and Craig Stevens to seal a 4-2, Ross Love sending a late Cradley effort into his own goal.
The same teams must do it all again this Saturday when they meet at the Dell Stadium with a place in the next round of the FA Vase at stake.
Wyton was under no illusions when he said: “We need to win, nothing else. We owe it to everyone involved with Dudley Town.