IT STARTED with the recognition of club stalwarts but unfortunately became a night of chasing shadows.

There are times when Alloa can match anyone in this league; you only need to look at the last time a team from the City of Discovery parked up in the Wee County for proof.

But, they could have no complaints as a slick, merciless Dundee put them to the sword under the lights on a night to forget for the Wasps.

Kane Hemmings, who ended a seven game goal drought, did the damage with two first half strikes before Sean Mackie added a third after the break with the performance of former Scotland international Graham Dorrans in the middle of the park frightfully fatal to Peter Grant’s side.

Midweek matches against full-time opposition are not where Alloa’s battle for Championship survival will be won or lost - they won just one last season - and instead attention now turns to a crucial clash with fellow part-timers Arbroath this weekend.

Grant said: “The better team won and it’s the first time we have been outplayed.

“Dundee played very well but obviously I was very disappointed with us on the night.

“You’ve got to give credit to the opposition who I think were excellent and it was a hard one to take.”

On a freezing cold night at the Recs, Adam Brown was the first to try his luck when he forced Conor Hazard into a sprawling save but - a Liam Buchanan effort dragged past the post aside - that was really that for Alloa chances.

It was their guests who enjoyed the lion’s share of the ball and Hemmings found the net when he finished off a lovely move through the heart of Alloa’s defence.

The former Rangers man made it two before the break when he rose unmarked to nod past Jamie MacDonald as Dundee took full advantage of Buchanan’s slack pass to break.

Alloa improved after the interval and began to find spaces in the Dee’s final third but a Buchanan effort over the bar was the closest they came before Mackie completed the scoring.

The only positive on the pitch? On a night where Iain Flannigan, Andy Graham, Stevie Hetherington and Scott Taggart were honoured for an incredible 650 plus combined appearances for the Wasps, 17-year-old Cammy O’Donnell stepped off the bench for his first minutes on the field in the league.

Grant continued: “We weren’t good on the ball, which is our strength, and we turned it over too many times.

“We were done when we were in possession for two, three of the goals.

“When you do that, you are going to suffer especially against quality players.

“The boys are hurting as we all are, but I think a lot of that was our own doing.”

Alloa: J. MacDonald 6, J. Robertson 5, S. Taggart 5, A. Graham 5, R. Deas 5, S. Hetherington 5, A. Trouten 5, I. Flannigan 5, A. Brown (off 84) 5, L. Buchanan 5, K. O’Hara 6 SUBS: C. Henry, N. Gilhooly, P. Gillespie, C. O’Donnell (on 84) 6, R. Thomson, B. Malcolm