IT WAS a game too far for Alloa as they lost out on a spot in the Championship playoff final, losing 5-2 (5-3 on aggregate) to Hamilton Academical.

The Wasps headed to South Lanarkshire with a one goal advantage, having beaten Accies 1-0 in the first leg on Tuesday.

Alloa took an early lead at New Douglas Park, with Cameron O’Donnell’s superb free kick meeting the head of Conor Sammon, deflecting off the back post as it went in.

The Wasps were dealt an early blow not long after as Scott Taggart was forced to withdraw, replaced by Luke Rankin.

George Stanger was then sent off after two poorly timed challenges, leaving Alloa with only one of their starting defenders left on the pitch.

Rankin was hooked after just ten minutes, with Andy Graham coming on as manager Brian Rice looked to favour experience in the weakened back line.

“We got ourselves into a brilliant position," Rice said after the match. "We were 2-0 up and it was quite comfortable, I thought we were comfortable.

“The red card had a big impact. Losing Taggart was a massive blow for us, losing two defenders when we were already scraping the barrel.

“All credit to the team though, they gave it everything they had. It was just a game too far and a day too far with certain things that didn’t go our way.”

Hamilton escaped a red card after Accies keeper Jamie Smith grabbed Sammon by the ankle and brought him down in the box.

Sammon chased a poor pass back to Smith and caught it, working well to keep the ball in and turned around the keeper, who fell and made a wild reach for the ball, missing it completely and bringing down the Wasps’ striker as he was clean through on goal.

The referee pointed to the spot immediately and Smith was lucky to only receive a yellow, in what was a decisive moment in the tie.

Scougall’s effort was initially saved, but the midfielder charged forward and smashed home on second time of asking.

The Hamilton fans were in uproar, making their feelings known to the board who were sat in the stands. Their feelings quickly went from anger to delight, as Accies came back to score four goals inside nine minutes before half time.

Accies strikers Dario Zanatta and Andy Winter bagged two goals each, with Winter claiming his third not long after the break.

It wasn’t to be for the Wasps this season, but Rice highly commended Alloa for the work they’ve put in all season and for reaching the playoffs.

“My guys have worked nine months this season,” Rice added. “They’ve worked their socks off to get to the position they’re in.

“The league we’re in is the best first division I’ve ever seen.

“Quality full time teams, quality part time teams and for us to finish the best out of the part time teams, I’m proud of the boys.

“We’ve come here today and I knew it was going to be tough. Look at my team sheet today – go back six months, go back three months, even go back one month and look at my team sheet then look at it today.

“One of my players who played today, I had to ask him to play. Scougall hadn’t trained, he’s just out of hospital.”

Alloa have been marred with injuries with injuries throughout this season, leaving Rice with few options going into the last run of games.

“It was a game too far. We had far too many injuries and we just couldn’t cope today. The boys were running on empty and for a part-time team, they gave it everything they possibly could.

“I couldn’t be prouder of them. Everyone has given it absolutely everything.

“I’m disappointed. I’m not disappointed in my own team, I’m just disappointed.”