Alloa Athletic.......................0

Dundee United.....................2

Scottish Cup, 4th round

ALLOA'S Scottish Cup dream came to an end last Saturday as they were beaten by Dundee United at the Indodrill Stadium.

Mark Durnan broke the deadlock on the stroke of half time and Emil Lyng’s deflected strike secured the visitors' progress.

For the second time this season, the Wasps pushed their Championship opponents close, but ultimately it wasn’t enough to save their place in the competition.

New recruits Jamie McCart and Jordan Kirkpatrick came straight into the Alloa starting lineup, while Callum Crane made a surprise return to the team having recovered from the ankle injury he sustained at East Fife last week.

Kirkpatrick almost made the dream start to his second debut for the club as a chance arrived inside forty seconds. Kris Renton did well to reach Andy Graham’s ball over the top and sent over a delicious cross, but Kirkpatrick couldn’t keep his effort down from close range.

The Wasps continued their bright start when Kevin Cawley capitalised on an error by Durnan, only to be crowded out as he shaped to shoot. Iain Flannigan’s shot was then deflected just wide with Harry Lewis a beaten man.

Craig Slater seemed to be United’s biggest threat in the first half, but he was reduced to efforts from distance, sending one shot into the arms of Neil Parry and another wide of the post.

Sam Stanton should have done better when he curled a shot just wide of Neil Parry’s right-hand post, and Slater saw a free kick comfortably saved.

Alloa were still the more dangerous of the two sides and Kirkpatrick went close again, forcing Lewis into an unorthodox save at his near post.

But just before the break, the visitors took an undeserved lead. Slater swung in a fine delivery from a corner, and Durnan rose unchallenged to power a header into the far corner on the stroke of half time.

The opening fifteen minutes of the second half was a tense affair, with chances falling at both ends. The most clear-cut went the way of the visitors, with Parry making a fine save to deny Scott McDonald from close range.

However, the stopper’s efforts were in vain as the visitors added their second just after the hour mark. Lyng raced onto Stanton’s slide-rule pass and broke clear down the right. He fired a shot at goal, which took a huge deflection off the luckless Crane and looped over Parry and into the net.

It was so harsh on the Wasps, who had taken the game to the Championship side, but they didn’t let their heads drop and Kirkpatrick almost gave them a route back into the encounter with a dipping volley which had Lewis concerned as it sailed over the bar.

United could have added to their tally twice in the space of a minute when Billy King’s shot was deflected behind, before Jon Robertson blocked Durnan’s volley from the resulting corner.

And the visitors went agonisingly close to a third again when new signing Idris Kadded smashed a shot off the crossbar following lovely build-up play from King.

Alloa felt they should have had a way back into the game with two minutes to go, but despite Kevin Cawley being dragged down in the box by Jamie Robson, the referee said no penalty.

It wouldn’t have mattered though, as United held on fairly comfortably to progress through to the fifth round of the cup they last won back in 2010.

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, McCart, Fleming (Robertson), Cawley, Hetherington, Renton (Malcolm), Kirkpatrick, Flannigan. UNUSED SUBS: McKeown, Martin, Hoggan, Wilson.