Ray McKinnon, the Dundee United manager, hailed his young team for ultimately overcoming Alloa, before promising them a further opportunity to prosper in the next round.
McKinnon’s holders were spared extra-time courtesy of injury-time goals from Paul McMullan and Willo Flood to put them in the hat for this week’s third-round draw.
Alloa’s Kevin Cawley had quickly countered Patrick N’Koyi’s 72nd minute opener from the penalty spot to leave the hosts facing the prospect of added time at Tannadice, until their last-gasp efforts secured their progression.
McKinnon said: “It was an invaluable experience for the young kids. That’s the only way they’ll get better by playing in games like this. They did great and will get another taste of it in the next round.”
United made nine changes from the side which went down 3-0 to St Mirren in the Championship the previous weekend, and included five teenagers as well as a debut for young English striker Joe Piggott.
But League One Alloa had the best chances of the first-half. In 23 minutes, Daryll Meggatt’s cut-back picked out Cawley, but he dragged his low shot just inches past Deniz Mehmet’s post. Then, just before the interval, the Wasps threatened again as Alan Cook hooked his effort wide of the target from ten yards.
The second-half continued to simmer until Piggott’s through ball set N’Koyi free, forcing Andy Graham to bring him down in full view of referee Willie Collum. Up stepped N’Koyi to make it 1-0 with a calmly taken spot-kick which sent Neil Parry the wrong way.
Yet the part-time visitors equalised five minutes later when Adam Martin’s pass was swept home by Cawley from 16-yards.
McMullan, though, saved the hosts’ blushes as he curled home from N’Koyi’s set-up, prior to Flood finishing things off with a 22-yard strike.
Jim Goodwin, the Alloa manager, said: “Andy [Graham] is an honest boy. He’s adamant he touched the ball but Willie [Collum] says he followed through. I thought Willie had a decent game overall but he does like to give a penalty.”