BRIAN RICE saw his side score another late winner on Friday night and praised his players for getting through to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.

Alloa defeated Open Goal Broomhill thanks to Luke Donnelly’s header and a late Scott Taggart penalty.

Rice said: “Of course I’m delighted. The objective was to come here and [then] be in the hat on Monday night and we’ve done that. We knew it was going to be difficult, it’s the Scottish Cup.

“You only get one shot at it. It’s a big, big game for both teams and I’m just absolutely delighted to be through.”

Rice made some changes from the previous weekend’s defeat to FC Edinburgh and was glad to see his side progress.

He continued: “I think one or two didn’t do as well as I expected. One or two did okay. Overall, first half we should have had the game wrapped up and we didn’t. Scoring late goals has been a habit, we’ve done that recently in quite a few games and it just shows we keep going right to the end and we had to do that.

“Fair play to Broomhill, [in the] second half they played really well. It was a mistake from us at the corner but they’ve capitalised on it but, like I say, the objective was to get into the next round and we’re in the next round.”

The hosts equalised late in the second half but were undone by an injury time penalty.

Asked if he thought it was a penalty, Rice said: “I don’t know, I honestly don’t know. I know the referee blew really quickly. Really, really quickly. I know the Broomhill lads will say it’s not a penalty, my lads said it is a penalty, I honestly don’t know.”

Whether it was or wasn’t the correct decision is irrelevant. Taggart’s penalty was emphatic.

“Fantastic,” Rice said. “Our best player by a mile, again. Doesn’t matter where I play him; right back or centre back.

"We’ve got a lot of defenders missing. We’ve got [David] Devine missing and [George] Stanger, the two lads that formed a really good partnership when we were going through a good spell. We’ve got Mark Durnan missing, three centre backs missing and Andy’s [Graham] playing, Andy’s having to play at the minute.

"We’ve got a few problems but every other team’s got problems.”

With a couple of Cruyff turns in the second half, Taggart looked like he was enjoying himself.

Rice continued: “Listen, Taggs is a good player. He knows what he’s doing. He’ll get caught now and again Taggs is Taggs. He’s not played over 250 games for this club for no reason.

“Over the last five or six weeks he’s been absolutely outstanding and I’m delighted he got the goal. It was courageous of him, I thought Kingy [Adam King] was going to take the penalty but I seen Taggs take the ball off him and I don’t mind that, someone with a bit of confidence.”

The result was just what was needed after the previous weekend’s defeat and Rice has been pleased with his side’s response to that result.

He said: “I said to the boys on Tuesday night we need to be better than that, that can’t happen to us again and I knew it was going to be difficult [on Friday night]. Anybody that’s watching the World Cup will tell you how difficult games can be.

“Football’s a hard, hard game and some nights it will go for you and some nights you need a wee bit of luck.

“We came here to try and get into the hat for the next round and we’re in the draw.”

Alloa will face Falkirk on January 21 in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup.