ST MIRREN manager Jack Ross hailed the heroics of East Kilbride goalkeeper Jacob Kean after the Kilby stopper’s man of the match display put Saints within minutes of an embarrassing cup exit.

The Buddies were denied by several outstanding saves from Kean throughout the Irn-Bru cup tie at the Paisley 2021 Stadium on Tuesday night.

A terrific defensive display from the Lowland League side looked like it would bring about a huge upset when Dominic McLaren headed home in the 82nd minute.

But Ross Stewart netted before Lewis Morgan's 92nd minute winner spared Saints’ blushes as they finally found the net after firing more than 30 shots at goal throughout the match.

Ross praised the character of his players for rescuing the tie at the death.

Ross said: “He (Kean) was excellent on the night, I think it was into double figures the number of saves he made and there’s a number of goalline clearances as well.

“I’m delighted to get through, I think it would’ve been an injustice if we hadn’t, the way we dominated the game.

“But if you don’t take chances and their keeper has a night like that there’s always the chance you can concede.

“The players showed immense character to continue to try and get the rewards for what they had put into the game. I wasn’t disappointed with the performance because the number of chances we created were huge.”

Meanwhile Ross gave an injury update on some of his crocked stars as Josh Todd, Dale Hilson, Kyle Magennis and Harry Davis near a return to fitness.

He added: “Josh Todd has resumed full training. Dale Hilson will rejoin training on Wednesday so those two are getting closer.

“Kyle Magennis is running now so maybe only another couple of weeks for him and Harry Davis is just a little bit behind Kyle.

“We are getting there, people forget we’ve had some big players missing, even Adam Eckersley is still playing catch up with his fitness. Particularly Kyle because we are asking a lot of Ian (McShane) and Stephen (McGinn) to continue to play because we don’t really have many options there.”