Craig Easton, their manager for the day, watched Dundee United tumble out of the Irn Bru Cup against Alloa, and insisted they had only themselves to blame.
The reserve team coach took charge of a second-string Tangerines side in the absence of manager Csaba Laszlo and there were 11 changes from the side that drew with the Wasps in the Championship last week.
United’s priority is to win promotion back to the Premiership this season, so this second round exit isn’t likely to dampen their spirits, although Easton admitted better finishing could have sent them through to the last 16.
“Alloa are a good side so it was always going to be a challenge,” said Easton. “The only real frustration is that we didn’t take more care in the final third. If we had done that it could’ve been a comfortable afternoon for us.”
The Irn Bru Cup hasn’t captured the imagination of the United support and the crowd on a bright Saturday afternoon only just made it to four figures.
Yet they at least had something to shout about in the 15th minute. Jim Goodwin’s visitors failed to clear their lines and the ball broke to Matty Smith who thumped the ball into the net for his first goal since March.
Alloa equalised ten minutes from time when referee Greg Aitken awarded a penalty, allowing Alan Trouten to ensure further penalty kick drama. Alloa scored all five of their spot-kicks in the shoot-out while Archie Thomas misfired for the Tangerines to send them crashing out at the Wasps’ expense.