Chelsea captain John Terry admitted that his Premiership outfit had had to work hard until the final whistle to hang on to his tenth minute goal that put them into the fifth round of the FA Cup against lowly Nationwide Conference side Scarborough.
"It was a great game and we were under pressure at times although we had a lot of good chances," he said after the victory.
The England defender praised the Seadogs for their skill and determination which they showed from the kick-off.
"It was a real battle. I think we made it hard for ourselves - we should have taken more advantage of the opportunities we created." He said he had been pleased with his own performance. However, he felt Chelsea were still struggling to cash in on their superiority as has been the case in recent games.
On Scarborough's plea that they should have been awarded a penalty after William Gallas appeared to handle the ball, he added: "I didn't see it properly, but I think it was more a case of ball-to-hand rather than the other way round." Clint Marcelle who lived up to his reputation as a danger man said: "It's been a great day and an exceptional one for the fans.
"In the end Scarborough came off the pitch with their heads held high, having held Chelsea to just a single goal after all the experts had predicted we would go down to a heavy defeat.
"We had our chances and if the penalty appeal had gone in our favour it could have changed the whole game." Despite the defeat Scarborough earned sufficient income from their FA Cup run to pay their wage bill for the next two years.
In addition, Chelsea's billionaire owner Roman Abramovich gave the Seadogs - who only a year ago had to move into administration because of a financial crisis - Â£25,000 for the club's youth side.
Scarborough confounded the pundits who had been predicting scorelines ranging from 0-4 to 0-6 in the Blues' favour.
In the end the minnows thwarted a catalogue of chances created by the multi-million pound Premiership side in this David and Goliath battle.
The Seadogs said they felt sore that their pleas for a penalty when Gallas appeared to handle the ball late in the second half, had been turned down by the referee.
Manager Russell Slade said he was in no doubt that a penalty should have been awarded. "The lads did a brilliant job but a replay would have been a fair result and it could have happened if we had been given the spot-kick," he said.
"For us it was our cup final." While the McCain Stadium basked in brilliant sunshine, it made ball control difficult, aggravated by a very heavy pitch which had been covered for two days to beat heavy downpours.
Scarborough's hopes of an early goal were dashed when Ashley Lyth had a great chance cleared in the goalmouth by Terry.
But Chelsea quickly settled down with Eidur Gudjohnsen twice going close in three minutes.
His first chance was smothered by Scarborough keeper Leigh Walker and the second was desperately cleared by the home defence.
Three minutes later Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink was on target with a free kick, but Lyth ran in to head clear.
Terry scored the only goal of the game after some great work by Hasselbaink who followed up his tenth minute corner and crossed the ball for Terry to crash a shot home.
But any hopes Chelsea had of producing a rugby-style scoreline were soon dispelled as Scarborough fought back doggedly, thanks to Mark Quayle who was behind some great chances.
Scarborough suffered an early blow when Steve Baker had to be stretchered off and substitute Steve Capper took advantage of his chance to shine when he came on as a substitute.
Hasselbaink was constantly in the forefront of the action along with Gudjohnsen and Mario Melchiot who had a brilliant game.
Scarborough constantly thwarted Chelsea's attempts to break away while creating some good chances, albeit isolated ones, themselves through Marcelle, Ashley Sestanovic and Colin Cryan.
But the Blues proved formidable in defence and took advantage of Scarborough's poor finishing.
Terry almost scored a second goal with a fine run from the halfway line, weaving his way through three defenders only to shoot just wide of the post.
A fine header by Hasselbaink just seconds after the re-start crashed against the woodwork - Chelsea's second such attempt of the game.
However, Scarborough were constantly in the hunt with Lyth, Cryan and Chris Senior each creating chances in a game played in front of the resort's biggest crowd for over a decade - 5,379.
Joe Cole forced Scarborough keeper Walker into a full-length diving save one minute from time but Slade's team ended the match with their heads held high after an impressive-battling display.
Man of the match: John Terry - Scored the crucial goal and was a rock at the heart of the Chelsea defence as he thwarted all that the North Yorkshire side could throw at him.