Stuart McLaren’s men produced an outstanding performance as we deservedly held the Scottish Cup holders at Forthbank.
We might even have claimed a famous win after creating some good chances in the second half but can look forward to a replay on Tuesday January 19, with the fifth-round draw this Monday at 6.15pm.
Caley Thistle won 6-1 on their previous visit to Stirling – for a Scottish Cup tie in January 2007 – and were short-priced favourites to progress to the last 16 but we responded superbly to the recent defeats to East Fife and East Stirlingshire to shut out our Premiership opponents.
McLaren made three changes to the team beaten 3-2 at Ochilview, with Ross Smith, Craig Comrie and Phil Johnston restored to the side in place of Ross McGeachie, David Verlaque and Mark Lamont, although McGeachie was forced into action early on following an injury to Kevin McKinlay.
In-form Caley Thistle arrived on the back of wins over Hamilton Accies and Ross County and John Hughes fielded a full-strength side.
The visitors came close to an eighth-minute opener when Danny Williams linked well with Liam Polworth but Williams saw his shot saved by Chris Smith. That was about the only clear-cut opportunity at either end in the first half as our well-organised display kept the holders at bay.
The second half was more open, with both teams creating chances in an increasingly tense and exciting tie. Danny Devine’s header was scrambled clear following a corner and new boy Alex Fisher saw his shot on the turn saved but we also posed a threat.
Darren Smith fired over after good work by Johnston and Owain Fon Williams made a smart stop to keep out a Willie Robertson effort.
With eight minutes left, Steven Doris found space and fired a low drive towards the net but a defender appeared from nowhere to block the ball.
Caley Thistle substitute Andrea Mbuyi-Mutombo had a stoppage-time chance but his finish lacked power and Chris Smith gathered the ball – it would have been hugely harsh if we had lost after the players had given everything for the cause.
Stirling Albion: C Smith, Mazel, McKinlay (McGeachie 12), Forsyth, R Smith, Robertson, Johnston (Lamont 62), Comrie (Beattie 79), Doris, D Smith, Dickson.
Subs (not used): Verlaque, Cunningham, Kouider-Aissa, Binnie (GK).
Inverness CT: O F Williams, Raven, Warren, Devine, Wedderburn (Fisher 46), Tansey, D Williams, Polworth, Draper, Vigurs (Mbuyi-Mutombo 79), Storey.
Subs (not used): Roberts, Brown, Sutherland, MacRae, Esson (GK).
Referee: Mat Northcroft