Two Ed Upson free kicks saved ten-man Yeovil Town's blushes and helped them stumble into the next round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy at Bristol Rovers' expense.
Forty-four Football League places separated the West Country rivals before kick off but npower League Two Gas looked far from troubled by the League One high-flyers.
But Upson's double strike changed the complexion of the game and ensured Jamie McAllister's dismissal failed to properly impact on proceedings.
Keen to maintain early season momentum, Johnson kept faith in the same starting XI that defeated Doncaster Rovers on Saturday.
But despite the divisional superiority it was the hosts that started a largely disappointing first half the brighter.
On four minutes McAllister gave away a wide free kick, former Glover Adam Virgo unable to head goal-wards from Matt Gill's delivery.
Four minutes later the visiting captain's errant pass was intercepted by Wayne Brown, who skipped past Ed Upson's weak challenge and drilled wide via a deflection.
After 11 minutes McAllister's deep set piece from the right wing somehow bounced through to Luke Ayling in the box. The right back was inches away from his first senior goal, hooking against the post.
Lee Brown's swift turn 25 yards from goal on 26 minutes was too quick for Richard Hinds and Yeovil made a fist of clearing the subsequent free kick.
With 37 minutes on the clock Eliot Richards nearly made the most of indecision amongst the away defence, lashing a loose ball wide.
Michael Smith had the ball in the net two minutes later but saw his effort disallowed for a foul on a defender after Marek Stech had attempted to block the initial shot.
Tempers flared on 43 minutes after Cian Bolger was booked for a foul on Marsh-Brown. As Byron Webster and Ayling prepared to contest the set piece on the edge of the 18-yard box they clashed with their opposite numbers, referee Michael Naylor stopping pushing and shoving.
Two minutes after the restart Yeovil failed to clear a corner. Rovers recycled play, David Clarkson scuffed home but was offside.
On 59 minutes Sam Foley slid the ball into the feet of Reid on the edge of the box but former Glovers' loanee Tom Parkes snapped in with a fierce challenge.
Substitute Rohan Ince climbed highest to meet Upson's 67th minute corner only to head comfortably over the crossbar.
However, Upson made no mistake on 71 minutes when replacement Gozie Ugwu tumbled 20 yards out. After Foley and McAllister trotted over the static ball, Upson thumped home the central free kick.
Four minutes later the away team were reduced to ten men. McAllister clashed with close friend Clarkson near the touch line and was shown a straight red.
On 82 minutes Rovers failed to extinguish danger at a deep free kick and Reid rattled the outside of the post from the edge of the area.
With three minutes left Upson caught out home stopper Sam Walker with a wide set piece. The Chelsea loanee and keeper that ended last season at Huish Park fumbled the ball over the line the shot he could have caught.
Upson then turned provider in injury time at the end of the game, picking out Foley to calmly lob the hapless Walker.
Bristol Rovers (4-4-2) - Walker; Virgo, Bolger, Parkes, Paterson; Smith (Broghammer, 76), W Brown, Gill, L Brown; Clarkson, Richards. Unused subs: Gough, Norburn, Anyinsah, Clarke.
Bookings: Bolger (foul).
Yeovil Town (4-4-2) - Stech; Ayling, Hinds, Webster (Ince, 61), McAllister; Marsh-Brown (Ralph, 76), Blizzard, Upson, Foley; Reid, Hayter (Ugwu, 60). Unused subs: Stewart, Young.
Goals: Upson 71, 87, Foley 90+1.
Dismissal: McAllister (violent conduct).
Ref: Michael Naylor (South Yorks).