Steven Doris converted the decisive kick as we won an incredible 28-penalty shoot-out 13-12 after a 2-2 draw with Hurlford United at Forthbank.
It could hardly have been a more dramatic debut for new manager Stuart McLaren and assistant Martyn Corrigan but we eventually came out on top in this William Hill Scottish Cup third-round replay after a 1-1 draw at Blair Park last week.
On a rain-lashed afternoon, Ross Chisholm and Doris missed first time round before Callum Reidford saved from Jamie Wilson to allow Doris to set up a fourth-round meeting at home to Raith Rovers on November 29.
Ross Robertson fired Hurlford in front after 15 minutes but Doris levelled 13 minutes from time with his first goal for the club and grabbed a second equaliser deep into extra time after Stewart Kean had scored for the Junior Cup holders.
New boss McLaren made five changes to the team that were fortunate to scramble a 1-1 draw at Blair Park a week earlier. Willie Robertson, Ross McGeachie, Phil Johnston, Darren Smith and Sandy Cunningham replaced David McClune, Dale Fulton, Graham Weir, James Creaney and the suspended Craig Wedderburn.
In a repeat of the original tie, Hurlford scored early. Reidford had already made a fine save before Ross Robertson found space in the box to curl a shot into the top corner.
Darren Henderson’s side looked comfortable in the first half but we were much improved in the second period and the ball was scrambled off the line before Johnston’s header suffered the same fate on an increasingly sodden pitch.
The equaliser arrived when Robertson’s persistence allowed Doris to break beyond the Hurlford defence and he made no mistake. We finished the game strongly but keeper Ally Brown pulled off a great save to keep out a header and Gordon Smith fired over from close range after being picked out by Weir.
The Ayrshire team stunned us in extra time when Kean, who scored last week, bundled the ball home from close range in a rare attack with nine minutes remaining but Doris equalised for the second time after a spell of penalty-box pinball.
And so to what developed into an epic decider from 12 yards. John Dempster and Gordon Smith scored and Reidford saved from Ross Chisholm. Fulton stuck his penalty away but Wilson netted and Brown denied Doris to keep it at 2-2 after six kicks.
Remarkably, there then followed 20 successful attempts – most of them of an incredibly high standard – before Reidford turned Wilson’s effort round the post.
Doris sent us through with an emphatic final penalty in our first ever Scottish Cup shoot-out, 25 years after they were introduced to the competition.
Stirling Albion: Reidford, Hamilton, Forsyth, Robertson, McGeachie, C Smith, Johnston (Weir 71), D Smith (Fulton 63), G Smith, Doris, Cunningham (Creaney 103).
Subs (not used): McClune, Munn, Al-Sayed, Paterson (GK).
Goals: Steven Doris 77, 117
Hurlford United: A Brown, Cameron, Byrne, G Mitchell, C Robertson, Masterton (D Mitchell 52), McKenzie, Cochrane (Wilson 106), Kean, R Robertson (Dempster 65), Chisholm. Subs (not used): Watt, M Brown, McHarrie, O’Neil (GK).
Goals: Ross Robertson 15, Stewart Kean 111
Referee: Gavin Ross