Cove Rangers manager Paul Hartley was happy with his side’s display after holding Dundee to a 0-0 draw.
The Championship side ultimately prevailed 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out at the Balmoral Stadium to earn a Group D bonus point.
However, Cove made it far from easy for them over the 90 minutes and merited their draw against Hartley’s former side.
He said: “The boys were excellent – I couldn’t have asked for any more of them.
“The penalties are what they are, a bit of a lottery. The players have got to be happy how they performed.
“If we can just take care of a couple of things we’ll be OK.
“Overall, we more than matched them. They went toe-to-toe with them. We knew in spells we wouldn’t have the ball so we had to work hard and we did. We caused them problems.
“They had an opportunity with the header in the first half but overall, we can be pleased with how we played.
“It’s not strange for me (coming up against James McPake). I’ve got no problems with that whatsoever and I’m sure they’ll go and have a good season.
“I didn’t really see him beforehand as I was more focused on my team.”
Hartley handed new signing Daniel Higgins a debut at centre-back and was happy with the 21-year-old former Kilmarnock stopper’s display.
Veteran Martin Scott also returned from suspension to line up in attack and Hartley added: “Daniel did very well. He was comfortable and composed.
“Martin did well up front where we’re short of bodies. I couldn’t ask for any more from the players – we knew it was a tough group.”
With Mitch Megginson, Ryan Strachan, Jamie Redman and Alan Redford all missing last night, Hartley is hoping to secure more new additions, but nothing is imminent.
He said: “We’re hopeful we can get one or two more in before the Edinburgh City game (their League Two opener on August 3).
In the early stages Dundee had plenty of possession but McPake’s side did little with it.
In the 23rd minute Dee keeper Jack Hamilton made a good double saved after Scott turned inside Jordan Marshall and shot. Hamilton parried and then held Daniel Park’s rebound.
Two minutes later Park’s intricate play set up Jordon Brown, who fired straight at Hamilton from 14 yards.
At the other end, Paul McGowan headed Cammy Kerr’s cross from the right against the right post and Craig Curran fluffed the follow-up.
Cove also hit the woodwork before the break, with Park lifting an effort over Hamilton from the edge of the area, but it crashed back off the crossbar.
Chances were limited after the interval. Harry Milne fizzed a half-volley narrowly wide for Cove.
In the final 20 minutes Andrew Nelson fired wide from the left side of the area and had another effort smothered by goalie Stuart McKenzie, while sub Josh Mulligan headed Declan McDaid’s cross from the right inches wide from close range.
In the shoot-out Scott and Jordan McGhee scored before Jamie Masson, Jordon Forster and Harry Milne fired over the bar and Nelson was repelled by McKenzie diving to his right.
Park and McDaid netted before Higgins blazed over, which allowed Paul McGowan to win it for Dundee.