Paul Smith hailed Raith Rovers’ never say day attitude after the Fifers claimed a bonus point following an exhilarating 3-3 draw against Inverness.
Shane Sutherland cancelled out Manny Duku’s early opener for Rovers during an entertaining first-half, only for John Robertson’s charges to concede after the break courtesy of an unfortunate Daniel Devine own goal.
The gutsy Caley Jags restored parity again through a contentious James Keatings’ penalty before Roddy MacGregor gave them the lead.
But there was a twist in the tale when Duku notched his second goal in injury-time to ensure the contest went the distance.
And it was the hosts who prevailed from 12 yards – having missed from the spot during the 90 minutes – as on loan Rangers kid Kai Kennedy failed with the decisive kick.
“I thought it would be two very good footballing teams going head to head – and that’s exactly what we got,” smiled assistant boss Smith.
“I thought we were excellent in the first half and by far the better team and, likewise, I thought Inverness were by far the better team for 30 minutes for the second half.
“But I’m delighted we dug in and got the dramatic goal in the last few minutes.”
Championship leaders Raith started like a side riding a crest of a wave and claimed a merited lead when Duku latched on to a pass into the channel, skipped past Devine and fizzed a low drive through the legs of Ridgers.
Inverness levelled against the run of play when Sutherland marked his second start of the season with a clinical header.
Rovers had a wonderful opportunity to claim the lead when Wallace Duffy was bamboozled by the dancing feet of Frankie Musonda, clipping the marauding full-back in the box to concede a penalty.
However, Dan Armstrong smashed his spot-kick over the bar.
Rovers did regain the lead after the break courtesy of the brilliance of Ross. The on-loan Aberdeen kid tortured Robbie Deas down the left flank before fizzing a cross into the box which struck the helpless Devine and nestled in the net.
Irate Inverness were certain they should have been awarded a penalty when a Duffy cross appeared to strike a Raith arm. Referee Steven Reid was unmoved.
Whistler Reid then did point to the spot when MacGregor fell to the ground under minimal contact, mystifying almost all onlookers. As the disputes raged on, Keatings slammed home from 12 yards.
A remarkable two-minute turnaround was completed when Keatings rattled the inside of the post with a free-kick from the edge of the box, only for MacGregor to be perfectly placed to prod the rebound into an empty net.
But Duku had the last word in normal time, slamming into the net from close range after meeting a Fernandy Mendy knock-down.
Raith then claimed the additional point to add insult to injury-time heartbreak for the Caley Jags, prevailing 3-2 on penalties after Regan Hendry, Ross Matthews and Armstrong all scored from the spot.
Kennedy fired the decisive kick wide of the post after Keatings and Nikolay Todorov had also failed to ripple the net.
“I think we’d probably need nine points and we are sitting on five at the moment, but we’ll go to Cowdenbeath and try to win the games,” added Smith.