A dogged, disciplined and deserved Alloa performance earned them an extra time win, and indeed their first ever, victory over Hearts to progress to the last eight of the Betfred Cup.

Three first half goals were enough to earn victory for the Gorgie side in Tuesday’s league fixture between the two teams. Hearts are a Championship outfit this term with a squad that would perhaps look more at home in the top division and that match had demonstrated the gulf in quality between these two despite sharing league status.

There was to be no such comfort for the Edinburgh side at the Indodrill stadium however, and despite dominating in large spells Alloa were well worth their win. The home side's manager, Peter Grant, was more than pleased with the application of his part-side team up against their opponents.

“Even the other evening when we were 3-0 down and it could have been four or five,” he said reflecting on Tuesday’s match.

“{But} they dug in and showed they are more than capable and they showed that {again} today.

“They’re playing against a team that’s worth whatever. One {Hearts} player is probably on more than our full squad together. They’ll probably blame the pitch or the referee.

“While Hearts players were getting a rub and a massage today our boys were out working, so that tells you enough.”

The pattern of the match in the first half was similar to Tuesday’s meeting, as Hearts controlled affairs and Alloa struggled to hold the ball up the top end of the pitch. But there was to be no first half joy for Robbie Neilson’s men as had been the case in midweek.

They could have led within five minutes when Liam Boyce took a lovely touch to kill a long ball before sliding in Olly Lee, who couldn’t round the keeper when one-on-one. Boyce was presented with a clear shot on goal from the rebound with Neil Parry stranded, but the Wasps keeper recovered well to deflect the effort wide. Chances continued to arrive for the visitors, with Jamie Walker proving particularly difficult to tie down, but few found the target.

Hearts continuinsly sought out Stephen Kingsley and Michael Smith to provide width on what is a narrow pitch, but the hosts were comfortable defending the influx of crosses whipped into their box. Quick feet from Kingsley earned rare space outside the area to earn the last clear effort of the first half but Peter Haring was unfortunate to see a cushioned effort sail narrowly over the crossbar from a tight angle.

For their lack of fire power, the home side remained in the game and as the minutes wore on so did the possibility of a home win. Craig Wighton and Steven Naismith were both introduced early in the second half to try and regain Hearts’ tempo which had dropped off since the restart.

Kingsley should have done better 20 minutes from time when he was picked out at the edge of the area by Lee. His shot evaded the goal and Alloa’s (admittedly small in height) Clackmannan Road stand. Grant’s men responded with their best chance of the game which fell to Liam Buchanan, meeting a cross at the front post and forcing Gordon into an impressive stop.

With no resolution reached after the 90 minutes, the game went to extra-time. And Alloa’s diligence in defence continued to keep their opponents at arm’s length who appeared unable to break through the deep defensive line facing them and lacked ideas that didn’t come in the form of crosses.

If any team looked more like scoring in the additional thirty it was Alloa, and moments after Ray Grant had stung the palms of Craig Gordon, Robert Thomson was brought down in the box for a penalty and Alan Trouten was composed enough to slot home, sending Gordon the wrong way. Hearts threw everything at an equaliser, but to borrow a cliché it looked as if they could’ve played all night without scoring.

Robbie Neilson justifiably cut a frustrated figure at full time.

“I thought we dominated the game we should have won it by two or three goals at least but we didn’t have that final moment," he said. "The amount of chances we had, positions we got into we should have scored.

“There was a couple of one v ones and great opportunities, but it just didn’t break for us today and we get done at the end with a bad decision.

“The {referee} has made a bad decision, he will look at himself and we just have to get on with it.”