St Mirren boss Jim Goodwin was satisfied with his side's fightback against Queen of the South but admitted they will need to defend better when they return to league action.
The Premiership side top their Betfred Cup group with five points after winning the penalty shoot-out following a 2-2 draw.
The Championship side had taken a two-goal lead through Connor Shields and Aidan Fitzpatrick before Saints clawed it back through Jamie McGrath and Marcus Fraser.
Goodwin said: "At half-time we would all have taken that. I believed if we got the first goal in the second half we would have enough to go and get another one. We left it late but we got there.
"Credit to Queen of the South, they started the game really well. We played into their hands and the two goals come from our mistakes. We gave away possession on the far side trying to play it short when the pitch doesn't allow for that.
"The slow starts aren't a worry but it's something we have to improve on. We can't start like that against Motherwell as they'll be out of sight and there will be no coming back from it. We have to give ourselves a better chance early doors and show a bit more control."
Queens manager Allan Johnston praised his players for pushing a Premiership team all the way.
He said: "I'm delighted with the boys and their effort, although it was obviously disappointing to lose an equaliser so late after being two goals up."