ANGRY Alan Stubbs dubbed St Mirren's display against minnows Spartans "unacceptable" after watching them scrape to a Betfred Cup bonus point on penalties.

The new Buddies boss was looking to make a statement on his first home outing since being appointed this summer.

But his side fell behind to the Lowland League champions as Jason Stevens' controversial early opener was followed up by a Scott Maxwell strike.

Stubbs threw on rested skipper Stephen McGinn and he led the fightback, scoring Saints' first goal before Danny Mullen sealed a 2-2 draw with a late penalty.

That sent the game to the shoot-out, where Blair Atkinson's wild miss gave St Mirren their second-straight spot-kick success.

But Stubbs was not happy and admitted he would have to up his search for a new striker.

The Englishman - who refused to discuss links to Celtic youngster Mikey Johnston and his former Hibs frontman Anthony Stokes - said: "It was a frustrating night.

"The way we approached the game in the first half was not what I wanted and I have to be honest, it took the introduction of Stephen McGinn to really spark us into life.

"For me, that is not acceptable.

"Whether the first goal was offside or not is not my main concern. What is my concern was that the players didn't set standards that I expect of them at this football club and it won't be accepted.

"It highlights the need to add some extra quality in the final third. We knew that before the game so the search goes on and we still have a few weeks to do that."

Spartans travelled to Paisley without boss Dougie Samuel after he suffered a heart attack last week.

But first-team coach Derek Riddel said his team's display was the perfect get-well-soon gift.

He said: "What happened to Dougie has really brought everyone at the club together. He will be delighted at the effort the boys showed."