Caley Thistle boss John Robertson pronounced himself generally satisfied with his team’s performance despite their Betfred Cup tie against Cowdenbeath being decided on penalties.
The Highlanders were forced to endure the tension of a penalty kick-shoot out before subduing Garry Bollan’s fighting Fifers.
They also had goalkeeper Cammy Mackay to thank for making two excellent saves from Graham Taylor and Kris Renton either side of Oliver Hamilton’s and Harry Swan’s successful penalties for the visitors.
But at least Caley Thistle were spot-on, with Nikolay Todorov, Robbie Deans, Sean Welsh and Scott Allardice all converting their kicks.
Cowdenbeath were forced to concede defeat in the previous two Betfred Cup ties against Caley Thistle at Central Park.
But the Blue Brazil refused to meekly assume the role of whipping boys at Caledonian Stadium last night.
Indeed, they gave their opponents from the Championship pause for thought, more especially in the second half, despite coming off the back of consecutive defeats by East Fife and Hearts.
Robertson said: “I was very pleased with a lot of our stuff. From box to box we passed the ball well and moved it well.
“But there are important things we’ve got to improve on like our decision-making in the final third. That’s an area we have to concentrate on.
“But when we did make the right decisions we were unlucky in terms of missed chances and we also came up against a goalkeeper who was inspired.
“I thought Ross Sinclair made four or five really good saves. But Nikolay Todorov has got to score.
“It was an open goal and that’s three chances in two games that if he’d taken them we’d have been top of our group.
“But we are where we are and I’ve said all along we are using this as our pre-season and we are not quite there yet in terms of in front of goal, but we didn’t look like we were going to lose a goal either.
“I don’t think Cammy Mackay had a save to make until the penalties when he had two fantastic stops and was unlucky not make a third.
“The good news is that we got 65 minutes out of James Vincent and Kevin McHattie and the likes of Scott Allardice came on and got more attuned to what we’re doing.
“We also got more minutes into Danny Devine after he was injured so, all in all, it served its purpose.
“Are we disappointed not to take three points? Yes, but as I said for the majority of the game I enjoyed what I saw box to box.
“We just didn’t quite have the guile, luck or quality to finish it off.
“We warned the players that Cowdenbeath worked extremely hard last Saturday against Hearts and they did the same tonight so it was going to take a bit of quality to beat them.
“But when we did show that quality we just couldn’t get past the goalkeeper, while at other times we missed the target when we should have scored.
“But if we play the same way at Dunfermline on Saturday and pass the ball the same way and create the opportunities we did, the next part is we’ve got to take these chances.”
Striker Miles Storey is expected to miss the trip to East End Park after suffering a hamstring injury.