Dundee couldn’t follow up their Betfred Cup win against Raith Rovers with another victory on the road at Cove.
The SPFL new boys held the Dens Park side to a 0-0 draw in a contest that lacked quality in front of goal.
The penalty shoot-out for the bonus point wasn’t a vintage one either, but Dundee won it 3-2, with Paul McGowan scoring the decisive spot-kick.
The result keeps them on track to progress from their group but narrows the margin for error.
James McPake made three changes to Saturday’s team, with Jordon Forster, Finlay Robertson and Craig Curran coming in for Josh Meekings, Declan McDaid and Josh Todd.
Dundee were first to threaten on six minutes when a Jordan Marshall cross fell nicely for Cammy Kerr but the full-back dragged his shot wide from the edge of the box.
It had been a pretty scrappy opening period of the contest, with a mistake looking likelier to spark an opening goal than a moment of brilliance.
That was certainly the case on 17 minutes when a hopeful Martin Scott ball up the middle should have been comfortably mopped up by the Dundee defence.
Jordan McGhee hesitated though. And Jack Hamilton was forced to deal with it, doing so unconvincingly.
The Dark Blues had their first shot on target moments later – a well-struck Jamie Ness effort that was straight at keeper Stuart McKenize.
Strikers Andrew Nelson and Curran were struggling to link up as a partnership but they combined well midway through the half. The youngster held the ball up then laid it into the path of the former Ross County man, whose shot was a weak one.
A flurry of activity in the other box followed.
Hamilton had to make a decent double save to deny Scott and Daniel Park and moments later the Dundee keeper was keeping out a Jordon Brown shot.
The game had now opened up and the visitors were denied by the woodwork on 26 minutes. A long diagonal Kerr cross picked out McGowan. His header came back off the post and Curran couldn’t find the net with the rebound.
It was Cove’s turn to strike the frame of the goal 10 minutes later.
Possession was given away by Dundee in midfield and, after he drove forward, Park’s shot hit the bar.
Four minutes after the restart McGowan crossed from the right and Nelson’s acrobatic finish flew just over.
McPake made a double substitution on 55 minutes in a bid to create more width in his team, with McDaid and Todd replacing Robertson and Curran.
There was a Dundee penalty shout denied soon after when Forster was wrestled to the ground at the back post as a corner was sent over.
The centre-back helped prevent a goal at the other end, diverting a fierce Harry Milne shot wide off his head.
Nelson turned his man expertly in midfield on 69 minutes and in doing so created space to drive to the edge of the box. His low shot took a deflection past the post for a corner, which Forster got a head to but couldn’t trouble the keeper with.
Dundee’s third substitution wasn’t made out of choice. Ness picked up an injury in a midfield challenge and was replaced by Josh Mulligan.
The young sub squandered a fantastic chance to make himself a hero when McDaid picked him out unmarked at the back post with a floated cross from the right but he directed his header wide from five yards out.
McGowan brushed off a couple of opponents on the edge of the box on 83 minutes before feeding a short pass through to Nelson. Keeper McKenzie rushed off his line to pressure the former Sunderland man and did enough to make sure the shot was lifted over the bar.
It proved to be the last decent chance of the match before it was finished off with the penalty shoot-out.
Cove Rangers –McKenzie, Kelly, Milne, Ross, Higgins, Scully, Park, Yule, Scott, Brown (Mears 73) (Burnett 85), Masson. Subs not used – MacLeod, Wood, Milne, McCafferty.
Dundee – Hamilton, Kerr, McGhee, Ness (Mulligan 71), Forster, Byrne, Nelson, McGowan, Curran (McDaid 55), Robertson (Todd 55), Marshall. Subs not used – Ferrie, Cameron, Fisher, Cunningham.
Referee – Scott Lambie.
Attendance – 1,410.