KILMARNOCK manager Angelo Alessio last night claimed Hibs right back Tom James had taken an illegal penalty in his side's Betfred Cup quarter-final shoot-out defeat at Rugby Park.

Alessio's side lost the spot kick decider 5-4 to Paul Heckingbottom's team in Ayrshire after the last eight match had finished 0-0 at the end of 120 minutes.

But former Juventus, Italy and Chelsea assistant Alessio felt that James should have been forced to retake his penalty by match official Willie Collum.

"I think that their player touched the ball twice as he took the penalty," he said. "Yes, I saw this. But the referee said it was okay.

"I did not speak to the referee about it because he had already decided and I was too far away. But my players definitely said that he had taken two touches on the ball.

Alessio added: "Of course I am very disappointed to lose. It was very important to go to the semi final for everyone at this club - the players, the staff, the supporters.

"It was so important to everyone at this club that we got to the semi final. We are disappointed but this is football. But a penalty shoot out is the worst way to lose a game. Now we have to look at our next match on Saturday.

"I thought it was a balanced match but we created a few chances to score in the second half. With penalties, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose."