Angry manager Dave Frecklington revealed his Gainsborough Trinity players had been given a half-time rocket after they progressed to the first round proper of the FA Trophy.
The National League North Holy Blues were fortunate to be level against Stafford Rangers after a goaless opening 45 minutes in their third qualifying round tie.
Frecklington labelled the opening-half performance against the EvoStik side as unacceptable.
“I can’t say too much about what I said (at half-time), but I was not happy and the players were told that,” he said.
“They needed a rocket up their backsides. They were told individually and collectively that was not acceptable at this football club.
“We should have been out of sight. Credit to Stafford, they won the first and second balls, but we did not lay a glove on them in the first half.
“A substitution was needed at half-time.”
Frecklington brought on captain Nathan Jarman at half-time and he helped to make a difference.
Ashley Worsfold broke the deadlock in the 55th minute and Trinity then improved.
They secured a 2-0 home victory with a couple of minutes remaining as Nathan Jarman latched on to a long ball and smashed home from a tight angle.
In the first half Nathan Stainfield and Taron Hare made fine clearances.
Keeper Henrik Ravas also pulled off a good stop to rescue the home side from an embarrassment against lower league opponents.
“I am pleased for Ash (Worsfold) because in terms of energy and workrate, that never changes.
“We have kept another clean sheet and it is another win, so I can’t be too critical. To be fair to the boys, they improved.”