FOR SEVERAL weeks Peter Grant has accepted the compliments that his Alloa side play great football while continuously bemoaning the errors that were costing them goals.

Judging by that rhetoric, Saturday's Betfred Cup win against Hearts must be their best performance of the season.

Those who don't watch the Wasps regularly seem to have a perception of this team, perhaps down to the fact the players are part-time. However, those who watch on a regular basis know this is a team who play football. Good football.

The scorelines in recent weeks just haven't reflected that. But, on Saturday, Grant got everything he was looking for.

A last-minute defensive reshuffle probably wouldn't have helped the gaffer's plans, but in hindsight it worked.

Jon Robertson, still struggling with the hamstring issue he picked up last Tuesday in Edinburgh, dropped out of the starting line-up.

He was replaced by Nicky Jamieson in the centre of defence with Scott Taggart moving to right-back.

Things almost got off to a terrible start. With around 180 seconds on the clock, Jamieson was chasing down Liam Boyce, who was running away from goal. Jamieson, trying to sneak in front of Boyce, tripped him up and gave away a free-kick on the edge of the box. A second earlier and it could have been a penalty.

However, after that, Jamieson was outstanding. It must be said that in the last round of the cup against Stenhousemuir it took the 24-year-old a while to get into the game and shake off the nerves.

That risky challenge aside, he was a tower on Saturday. For the whole game, the whole two hours of it, there didn't seem to be a ball in the air that he didn't get his head to.

Captain Andy Graham set the tone with a great tackle on Aidy White early in the game and his comrade in the heart of defence duly kept up.

Hearts had the first real chance to go in front and probably should have. Boyce controlled Craig Gordon's goal kick, turned and played in Olly Lee who tried to take it around the outrushing Neil Parry, but Parry got down well and blocked.

The rebound fell to Boyce, who managed to get a shot away, which again was blocked by Parry – making his 150th appearance.

Alloa had their first chance 15 minutes in when Alan Trouten took a shot from distance that was saved comfortably by Gordon. With that aside, the first half went by with a whimper, and no real moments of magic from either side.

Hearts had another golden opportunity to take the league in the second half when Jamie Walker was played in and found only Parry between him and the goal. Walker opened his body up and shot but Parry made himself big and seen it out for a corner.

Alloa's best chance of the second half fell to Liam Buchanan, who scored a hat-trick in the last Betfred Cup match. Jamieson switched the ball well to Taggart, who whipped a cross to the edge of the box. Buchanan, running away from goal, managed to get good contact with the ball and force a terrific save from Gordon.

With no substitutions made, Alloa's players managed to see the game to extra-time. The more the game went on, there was a growing sense that Alloa would be the team to go on and win.

Robert Thomson and Lee Connelly came on for Buchanan and Innes Murray, two sets of fresh legs that had an impact in different ways.

The first half of extra-time seemed to show Alloa playing for penalties, with any danger in and around their box being blasted away up the park.

However, three minutes into the second 15 minutes, Alloa had a penalty. A slack clearance by Hearts gave the ball straight back to Taggart, whose delivery had been excellent all day.

He whipped the ball towards Ray Grant, who missed the ball alongside Christophe Berra. It fell to substitute Thomson, who controlled the ball and went to shoot. Before he could make contact with the ball, he was brought down.

When Alan Trouten stepped up to take the penalty, there was never any doubt. Despite stating post-match how imposing Craig Gordon is, Trouten's slow run-up deceived the Scotland keeper. Gordon dived right, Trouten opened up his body and side-footed it to the former Celtic man's left.

From that moment on, Hearts were done. As the game went on, you could see Alloa wanted it more and they got their reward.

This was history in the making: Alloa had never beaten Hearts in a competitive fixture in the club's 131 years; Parry had his 42nd clean sheet on his 150th game; Kevin Cawley made his 351st appearance.

To a man, Alloa were excellent – a fully deserved win. Now, with Hibs awaiting in the quarter-final, the stage could be set for an Edinburgh double scalp.

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart, Graham, Jamieson, Dick, Hetherington, Grant, Cawley, Trouten, Murray (Connelly 93), Buchanan (Thomson 98). UNUSED SUBS: Willison, Scougall, Brown, Malcolm, O'Donnell, Williamson, Lynch.