SCOTT TAGGART admitted he was “really proud” of Alloa’s performance as they battled hard but narrowly exited the playoffs to Hamilton.

The Wasps lost 3-2 to Accies at New Douglas Park on Saturday and were left a man down after Morgyn Neill was sent to the stands just before half time for dissent.

Despite this, Alloa came out the second half looking to fight for their spot in the playoff final and looked to be back on track after Conor Sammon’s equaliser.

Ultimately, Accies found a way through to restore their lead and book a place in the playoff final, bringing Alloa’s season to an end in South Lanarkshire.

Speaking to Advertiser Sport after the match, the Wasps captain hailed an “absolutely brilliant” performance from Alloa despite odds being against them.

He said: “We gave it a good go but going down to 10 men gave them a big advantage.

“Up to then, despite them going 2-1 up, the game wasn’t over. We’ve had tight games with them all year.

“We went in at half time and regrouped, manager gave us some ideas on how to hurt them and I feel the boys did that to a tee.

“They worked their socks off, especially in that heat, it would be easy to come out and for Hamilton to have their tails up but we started the second half really well.

“The boys were absolutely brilliant in the second half and were unlucky to fall short – Taylor [Steven]’s had a great chance hit the post.

“I’m really proud of the boys.”

With Alloa’s season at its end, Andy Graham has already started building his squad for next year, with several names signed on already.

As fans start to consider who will stay and who will go, three players who are strong contenders to not be returning are Bobby Wales, Taylor Steven and Ethan Sutherland.

The loanees, from Kilmarnock, St Johnstone and St Mirren respectively, have all put in hard work across their spells at Alloa, securing themselves as regular starters during the second half of the season.

Taggart heaped praise on their performances and tipped the three youngsters for bright futures at their parent clubs.

He continued: “Before the gaffer came in, we weren’t performing well enough for the squad that we had but since Andy has come in, we’ve picked up some good runs of results and played well.

“Even the boys coming in on loan and are coming in every Tuesday, Thursday night, they’re desperate to come in and work hard and I think you can see that in their performance.

“This is the first time out on loan for these young lads and they’ve come in and their attitude has been spot on.

“The manager has given them plenty of belief and encouragement for them to kick on and I thanked them all there at the end.

“They’ve come in and their attitude has been brilliant and they’ve slotted well into the squad that we had here.

“Every single one of them will go back a better player to their parent clubs.”

As previously reported by Advertiser Sport, Taggart has also penned a contract extension with Alloa, taking him into what will be his ninth season with the club.

He joins as backbone of players signed on for next year, which include PJ Morrison, Morgyn Neill, David McKay, Stefan Scougall, Steven Hetherington and Kurtis Roberts.

“I’m delighted,” Taggart added. “This will be my ninth year here and as soon as the offer was made, it was an easy one for me.

“I’m delighted to get it done and now a few more of the boys have followed as well so we’ve got the starts of a good squad.

“We’ll get to enjoy our summer before coming back and by then, hopefully we’ll have a few more boys in as well and we’ll give it a good go like we did today.”