Dundee United manager Micky Mellon felt his side had improved their attacking play despite a fourth goalless draw in five games.
United drew with St Johnstone in Perth for a second time in three weeks before edging a penalty shoot-out to claim a Betfred Cup bonus point.
Mellon’s side will be knocked off top spot in Group C when St Johnstone and Peterhead play off for the right to go to the second round, and United are unlikely to progress as one of the four best runners-up even if they remain in second place.
Saints had the better of the chances in Perth and home goalkeeper Zander Clark was never troubled, however the United boss took encouragement from a sixth consecutive unbeaten encounter.
Mellon told DUTV: “We were determined we were going to come over and add to that defensive solidity we have been showing.
“We wanted to be better with the ball and retain the ball up the attacking end of the pitch a wee bit better.
“I think we did that well. We got into good positions and with a wee bit more composure with the final pass or a wee bit of fortune with stuff flashing across the face of goal, we could have scored a couple of goals.”
Saints boss Callum Davidson was not despondent after a point gave them the opportunity to win the group at Peterhead on Saturday.
“Both teams worked unbelievably hard to stop each other,” he told Saints TV.
“It was quite hectic and a little bit more composure from both teams would have helped but I put that down to the effort both teams put in to win the game.
“I thought second half we started to shade it a little bit and had the best chances to take control of the game and should have won it in the end.
“Unfortunately we didn’t, but we didn’t lose the game. Basically it comes down to Saturday.”