St Mirren won their third successive Betfred Cup penalty shoot-out after struggling to a goalless draw against gutsy Queen’s Park at Hampden Park.
Saints drew their first two Group H games, against Kilmarnock and the Spartans, and triumphed on spot-kicks to gain extra points, and again they came up trumps on Tuesday evening with goalkeeper Craig Samson saving twice in the 5-4 win.
Ross Stewart, Paul McGinn, Kyle Magennis, Stephen McGinn and Ryan Flynn scored from the spot for Alan Stubbs’ side, with Spiders keeper Jordan Hart saving Danny Mullen and Hayden Coulson’s efforts.
Samson saved from Jamie McKernon and Brendan Sharpe, with Ciaran Summers driving his penalty over the bar. Scott Gibson, William Mortimer, Joshua Peters and Calvin McGrory scored for the home side.
It was 90 minutes of unconvincing toil for Stubbs’ side, who were matched by amateur counterparts who played their part in an open first half in which clear-cut chances at either end were at a premium.
Hart gathered a decent low drive from Mullen in the 30th minute after the Paisley attacker had latched on to a pass from captain Stephen McGinn.
That save was bettered moments later by Samson, who threw himself high to his left to push McKernon’s 25-yard drive past the post. He was then alert to deny Dean Kindlan’s close-range effort from the subsequent corner.
The second period saw the Spiders continue to trouble their Ladbrokes Premiership opponents, who were not allowed to find any rhythm.
Mullen did head a Paul McGinn cross past the post with three minutes remaining and Kurtis Roberts had a shot blocked, but almost inevitably it went to penalties again and Saints prevailed.