Roy Hodgson admits signing a striker is Crystal Palace's top priority during the January transfer window.
The Eagles laboured to a 1-0 victory over Sky Bet League Two opponents Grimsby, who had Andrew Fox sent off in the second minute of their FA Cup third-round tie at Selhurst Park.
Thirty attempts at goal followed before substitute Jordan Ayew emphatically headed in Jeffrey Schlupp's cross with only three minutes of regular time remaining.
Hodgson views the failure to capitalise on so many chance as further evidence that Palace are lacking a finisher.
"Getting a striker is obviously something we would like because as we've seen once again, we can't do much more in terms of dominating games," Hodgson said.
"It's pretty obvious that if we had that person who score goals from nothing, or scores goals from half-chances, we'd be a lot higher up the Premier League and would have won our FA Cup game a lot earlier.
"It's early days in the transfer window and everybody knows this is a tough transfer window because clubs aren't eager to let players go if they're good enough.
"You're looking for the rare pearl – someone who is good enough who will make us better who at the same time for some reason is being released by their club."
Possibly the most wasteful of all was Alexander Sorloth, the £9million Norwegian striker who has managed just one goal in 22 appearances since arriving at Palace a year ago.
When asked if Sorloth could be sent out on loan, Hodgson said: "We'll see. He's a much better player than he's been able to show in the games because we see his accuracy every day in training
"But for goal-scorers and centre forwards, confidence does play a big part. The last thing you want as a striker is the opposing team putting all 10 players behind the ball."
Grimsby were magnificent defensively as they denied their Premier League opponents for 86 minutes, despite missing Fox for most of them.
The club is climbing up the League Two table after stitching together four successive wins in the competition and boss Michael Jolley wants the resilience shown against Palace to continue for the rest of the season.
"The challenge for all players is to be able to produce performances consistently. Our players stepped up and delivered a great performance as a one off," Jolley said.
"The challenge now for all of us is to try and do that on an ongoing basis and the payers do that of course.
"We're very proud of our efforts against Palace but we need to capture the things we've done well and use them to move forwards."