HOW bitter this must have felt for Jim Goodwin’s men to be on the other end of a rousing come back.

For a side that had turned five of their last six games around to win points during a miraculous run of form, the last five minutes of this enthralling cup tie were simply sickening.

In the blink of an eye, the Wasps went from causing one of the shocks of the round to being on the end of a famous reverse in Paisley.

How unlikely this had seemed earlier in the day as Alloa had made a mockery of their part time status against St Mirren.

When Kevin Cawley thundered home an unstoppable strike on the back of Alan Trouten’s 16th goal of the season, there were very few inside the Simple Digital Arena who would have given the hosts a chance of turning the game around.

Alloa had been simply terrific.

Not only had they matched their opponents all over the pitch, they had exceeded them. Jon Robertson and Steven Hetherington cruised through the opening half, Connor Shields and Cawley terrorised the Saints’ fullbacks, while Dario Zanatta and Trouten made Jack Baird and Mihai Popescu look more at home in League One than the nation’s top league.

Add to this St Mirren’s Brad Lyons’ dismissal for a second yellow for a debatable dive and it’s little wonder the headlines were already being written.

But, then the game turned on its head.

Jim Goodwin later admitted he - perhaps for the first time this season - had got things wrong as he sent his side out for the second half to contain the Saints rather than to go for the jugular.

How costly this was.

Suddenly, Alloa were happy to camp on the edge of their box and allow the likes of Stephen McGinn, Kyle McAllister, and Simeon Jackson a lion’s share of the ball.

While for the most part this seemed to work as Alloa defended doggedly to keep them at bay, but one moment changed the game.

Neil Parry has been an astonishingly good goalkeeper for Alloa and has singlehandedly won them points on numerous occasions.

However, this was one he will hope to forget in a hurry. As the game neared 70 minutes, Jackson’s long range drive seemed simple enough, but Parry dropped the ball at the feet of the onrushing Cody Cooke who slotted home.

Time had stood agonisingly still for a moment as the Alloa defence watched in horror as Cooke pounced.

With twenty minutes to go, hopelessness replaced optimism in the stands as Oran Kearney’s side smelled blood.

Football is won and lost on fine margins and how fine they proved to be as this game raced towards its frantic conclusion.

First, Zanatta - with the Wasps’ best chance of the half - turned Baird inside and out before striking the post.

Then, it happened. St Mirren swarmed forward to the edge of Alloa’s box as the Wasps retreated closer and closer towards Parry’s goal. Gaps seemed few and far between, until McAllister showed his class with a wonderful ball to the onrushing McGinn.

But, Robertson had spotted the danger and stretched out a leg to try and stop the ball reaching the Saints skipper.

Once again, time stood still for just a moment.

A moment that passed as the ball evaded the Englishman’s studs and McGinn cut it back for Ethan Erhahon to level.

The unlikeliest of collapses reached its conclusion when McAllister curled home a stunning strike just minutes later to send the Saints into the fifth round.

Jim Goodwin and his players dropped to the turf in despair. Their chance had been there and they had blown it.

It might take some time for the shellshocked Wasps to get over it.