ALLOA’S Premier Sports Cup journey came to an end on Saturday but Brian Rice praised his team for their "sensational" performance.

The Wasps went behind but took the games to penalties through Conor Sammon’s equaliser. Five excellent penalties saw Rice’s side take the bonus point but it wasn’t enough to progress to the next round.

Rice, speaking exclusively to Advertiser Sport, said: “We deserved to get the extra point with our performance. I thought Dunfermline had a couple of chances to put the game to bed but the longer the game went on, especially in the second half, I thought we were outstanding.

“Some of our play was sensational.

“For a part-time team what a week we’ve had. Long journey up to Buckie and back and then playing a Premier League top six team on Tuesday night and pushing them to the last minute and then coming here.

“The effort has been unbelievable from the boys, they’ve gave me every ounce of effort and sweat that they’ve got. I need to look after them now because we’re back here next week.”

Alloa went behind in the first half as Chris Hamilton's looping header from the edge of the box couldn't be stopped by Jay Hogarth.

However, Sammon was able to get a leg on the end of George Stanger's header and prodded the ball past Deniz Mehmet.

With the game going to penalties, Alloa's spot kick takers were perfectionists Scott Taggart, Stefan Scougall, Sammon, Adam King and Ross MacIver all scoring.

Joe Chalmers, Dunfermline's fourth penalty taker, missed his effort and Alloa took the extra point.

Asked if his team’s efforts have surpassed his expectations, Rice said: “No, because we work hard. We know what we’re trying to achieve. I expect effort, I expect commitment, I expect them to be proud of the jersey they’re wearing. Some of the football we played, it’s right up there. I’m absolutely delighted with them.

“That’s how we want to play. We’ve got the big boys up top but we’ve got the boys that can play. Look at [Stefan] Scougall in the second half. He was unplayable. Dunfermline are a good team, they’re a strong team and they had chances to go 2-0 up, my keeper was brilliant at the beginning of the second half, he kept us in it.

“But the longer the game went [on] I think there was only going to be one winner.”

Rice has made additions to his squad but said the transfer business isn’t finished.

“Still looking to add,” he said. “The keeper [Jay Hogarth] was 19 the other day. Young Murray [Miller] as well, it’s a young squad we’ve got.

“We’ve got a couple of experienced players but I wanted energy and enthusiasm and I wanted boys that could play and we’ve added that.

“That’s the end of the cup run for us, we’re disappointed at that but we’ve held our head high in it, we’ve put in good performances so it’s onto league business.

“Every game’s different. The formations might be different, big Andy [Graham] is suspended next week. One door closes and one door opens.”

Scott Taggart was one of three centre backs on Saturday and with Graham suspended Rice has a decision to make.

The gaffer also explained that Craig Howie is due an operation while Mark Durnan has been struggling since getting injured in pre-season.

However, Rice praised his attacking players for their efforts in kickstarting the defensive endeavours.

He continued: “The best two defenders I’ve ever seen was [Kenny] Dalglish and [Ian] Rush at Liverpool. They worked so hard for the team and that sparks the rest of them into life.

“That’s what we’re trying to do. If I can get my strikers to work then there’s no excuse for anyone else not to work. Everybody works hard but we start from the front.”

Alloa return to East End Park this Saturday, July 30 to face Dunfermline again in the first round of the cinch League One campaign.