JOHN Robertson hailed keeper Mark Ridgers for saving the only on-target Stirling Albion penalty in Tuesday’s bizarre and historic shoot-out.
Goals from the spot from Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs spared the Championship side’s blushes in the Betfred Cup tie as they were tested to the full by the League Two Binos, who failed to find the net from any of their four spot-kicks.
It is understood to be the lowest scoring shoot-out in a competitive Scottish game.
Summer signing Ridgers pulled off a fine diving save from Callumn Morrison and that paved the way for his midfielder team-mates to bury the goals which mattered as ICT left with two points rather than one had they lost it.
Ridgers was in the nets for Robbo’s East Fife when he saved three spot-kicks to sensationally dump Aberdeen out of the League Cup in September 2011.
A relieved Robbo said: "I haven’t seen a shoot-out like that before and it was indicative of the game itself.
"Both teams were lively enough with plenty of energy, but neither team had the subtlety or clinical aspect. Stirling started the better side in the first 20 minutes and they had a half chance which was saved by Mark Ridgers.
"They were also strong in the last 10 minutes and I think the frustration got the better of us.
"Stirling were breaking up the park effectively and Mark had his fingers stung with a couple of half chances. However, we should have finished our chances. John Baird had an unbelievable chance when he fluffed it from a yard out.
"We also had a debatable goal ruled out, so it was a frustrating night all round. We needed that wee bit of maturity and subtlety in and around the box. Defensively we were fine, but in that last third, we need to believe we are going to score goals rather than hope we are going to score them, like on Tuesday.
"Mark and I have previous form from penalty shoot-outs. He saved three for me at East Fife against Aberdeen (in the League Cup) and he is a huge unit in goals. His save in the shoot-out was superb because it was a terrific penalty (from Callumn Morrison).
"When they missed we have the chance to put them under pressure, but we missed our second one too when we needed to be clinical. I just thought ‘this can’t go on’ and fortunately for us Liam Polworth and Iain Vigurs had the composure which was sadly lacking in the game itself to slot them away."
Robertson was delighted that new signing, striker Felitciano Zschusschen, who was signed on Monday, came on in the second half, although he feels his team-mates will have to learn to get the best from him.
He explained: "Felitciano got in behind once, but we have to ensure that it’s not just about long balls in behind. We are looking to play off him. We are still two or three bodies short and that showed on Tuesday.
" We had to change the system a little bit and move people around. Until we can get a couple of lads out then we won’t get the two or three in."