Hibernian assistant manager John Potter heaped praise on Stevie Mallan for producing the "quality" that helped the Premiership side avoid a Betfred Cup shock against Forfar.
The League One outfit looked to have forced penalties as they held the Easter Road men at bay for the vast majority of a hard-fought tie at Station Park.
But, after substitute Kevin Nisbet had struck the woodwork with one header, skipper David Gray popped up to nod in a brilliant Mallan free-kick just three minutes from time.
Potter said: "It was a difficult game but, with Stevie Mallan on the pitch, he can provide that bit of quality and we can score a goal. That proved to be the difference on the night.
"It was a very difficult game. Forfar played well and we were probably not really at the races at times.
"But we hung in, a clean sheet's important and that bit of quality won us the game."
Hibs were missing an entire team's worth of talent because of international duty, injuries and youngster Josh Doig being forced to self-isolate due to coronavirus protocols.
And Potter is adamant the capital club have relished their victories over Brora Rangers, Cove Rangers and Forfar as they eye silverware.
He added: "It's a great competition, and it's a competition we want to try to win.
"It's been difficult with the amount of call-ups we've had, the amount of injuries we've had, and we've got quite a small squad anyway.
"But the competition has been good for us in terms of getting players minutes.
"And to get three wins at this stage is a great start for us."