New boss hails Stirling Albion after marathon shoot-out
Stirling Albion made history in manager Stuart McLaren's first game in charge as they emerged the victors over Hurlford United in an astonishing Scottish Cup penalty shoot-out.
Tied at 2-2 after extra-time in their third-round replay, the Binos won 13-12 after 28 spot kicks, Scottish football's highest-scoring shoot-out.
"They kept going and I thought they deserved it," said a relieved McLaren.
"There is unity among the group. We'll need that throughout the season."
Celtic defeated Dundee United 11-10 on penalties in a League Cup semi-final shoot-out in 2009.
But the match between the League One side and the Scottish Junior Cup holders, a replay following eclipsed that drama.
After six kicks, the shoot-out was tied at 2-2 after misses from Ross Chisholm and Steven Doris.
A remarkable 20 successful attempts followed before Callum Reidford saved from Jamie Wilson and Doris tucked away his second spot-kick, having scored the home team's goals in regulation time and extra time.
|The final of the 2005 Namibian Cup had to be settled by an incredible 48 penalty kicks, with KK Palace holding their nerve to defeat the Civics 17-16 following a 2-2 draw in normal time. A number of players had to take three spot kicks in the shootout, which lasted almost as long as the game.|
"I didn't see the two games but Hurlford were fantastic today," added McLaren, who replaced Greig McDonald last week.
"I was very pleased with our guys. The quality once we got past the half-hour mark was very good.
"I thought we were unfortunate not to get another goal or two in the 90 minutes. We showed good character to come back from the first goal and at 2-1 down they handled that situation well and thoroughly deserved to get the equaliser.
"When we had the couple of chances that didn't quite go over the line and then they get a goal from one of their ventures up the park, it does plant a little seed in the back of the mind.
"But I'm pleased with the positivity of the boys. They didn't let that affect them.
"It's certainly an easier situation to manage going from here than perhaps it would have been had we gone out today."
Looking forward to facing Raith Rovers in the next round, McLaren added: "In a way we'll be in the Hurlford position where we'll be the team that's not quite expected to go through."
"The immediate goal is to improve the league position and secure our place in League One.
"There's some stuff that we think we can implement over years that might help us consolidate in that league but you've always got to be ambitious and start to look for opportunities to grow the club and push for promotion to the Championship."