Ross County progressed to the second round of the Betfred Cup after a penalty shoot-out victory against Arbroath secured them the bonus point in their final Group D match.
The sides had drawn 0-0 in 90 minutes, however Tim Chow’s spot-kick secured a 5-4 spot-kick victory.
The result ensures County finish the group campaign on 10 points, and although they finish runners-up behind Hibernian on goal difference they go through as one of the four best placed runners-up.
Arbroath made the better start in windy conditions, with Danny Denholm a particular threat, sending Steven Doris’ cross off the post before taking aim from the edge of the box with a strike Scott Fox gathered at the second attempt.
County had the ball in the net on six minutes, only for Alex Schalk to be ruled offside after he had got in the way of Michael Gardyne’s drilled low attempt.
County were close to taking the lead on 11 minutes when a delightful threaded pass from Schalk caught out Jamie Henry to allow Ryan Dow in on goal, with the midfielder’s attempted chip over goalkeeper David Hutton goalbound until Ricky Little got back to clear off the line.
The Staggies were in command throughout most of the first-half however chances were few and far between, with Gardyne sending another effort well off target on 37 minutes.
Arbroath had threatened little since the early stages but they created a decent chance two minutes before the break when Denholm saw his low shot from the edge of the box held by Fox.
County ended the first-half on top though, with Gardyne’s fizzing delivery from the right met by the head of Tim Chow, who saw his effort well collected by Hutton.
Craig Curran should have put the visitors ahead just 60 seconds after the restart, when he beat the offside trap to latch on to Chow’s headed through ball, however Hutton was out quickly to block his shot with his legs.
Jason Naismith was keen to make his presence felt down the right flank and he was unfortunate not to add his name to the scoresheet on 57 minutes after exchanging passes with Gardyne and marauding into the box, only to see his low shot saved by Hutton.
The visitors continued to threaten, with Schalk hammering wide from Gardyne’s deep delivery, while substitute Thomas Mikkelsen nodded wide.
Arbroath appealed for a penalty on the breakaway on 76 minutes when Omar Kader claimed his cross from the left was turned behind by the hand of Marcus Fraser, with referee Steven Kirkland waving it away.
Hutton’s interventions were required again on 83 minutes when he tipped Mikkelsen’s header wide, before Christopher Routis nodded Gardyne’s corner over.
Hutton made his best save of the match a minute later when Schalk teed up Danish forward Mikkelsen for a first time effort, which the former Aberdeen goalkeeper somehow got across to palm wide of target.
Mikkelsen stabbed wide in the dying minutes with the match going to penalties, with Chow finding the net after the shoot-out had reached the sudden death stage to ensure the Staggies’ progress.