ALLOA boss Jim Goodwin was full of praise for his players despite their Scottish Cup loss at the hands of Dundee United.

The manager was delighted with the effort his side put in, and reckons that if a foul had been awarded for a push on Andy Graham in the build-up to United’s opener, it could have been a different game.

And he insisted that his squad showed great belief to take the game to their Championship opponents despite falling behind on the stroke of half time.

Goodwin told Advertiser Sport: “The players gave absolutely everything and made life very difficult for Dundee United. My half-time team talk was all geared up for coming in at 0-0.

"The set-piece was disappointing because we are normally very good at defending them, but Andy gets blocked in the build-up and that’s why Durnan ended up with a free header at the back post.

“We never lost belief and everything was very positive at half-time. I felt we were comfortable.

"We didn’t allow them to play out from the back and closed down a lot of gaps.

"They had a lot of possession but it was all in front of us, and Neil Parry has only had one or two saves to make.”

Goodwin’s side had been confident of causing an upset against a side who have struggled recently, but the manager admitted he was impressed with the way their opponents played.

He added: “We are disappointed because we felt it was a great opportunity for us. Dundee United were coming into the game on a poor run themselves so it was a chance for us to get at them.

"We felt if we pressed them high up the pitch we could cause them problems, and if we’d got that first goal it would have been a different game.

“There’s no doubt United are a good side and they have a lot of good players. There’s a lot of experience there. I want to give them credit for the way they try to play. They very rarely play long balls and it looks like they are coached to play the right way.”