HAMILTON, flying high in the Premiership, ultimately took their place in tomorrow's third-round draw but they were pushed for long spells by the side from a division below.
It was little surprise that Alloa were a match for their hosts given the excellent record they enjoyed against Hamilton last season but in the end the part-time Championship team just ran out of steam as late goals from Louis Longridge and Eamon Brophy flattered Accies, whose opener by Tony Andreu was wiped out by Greig Spence before Martin Canning restored the lead.
Hamilton manager Alex Neil, made a number of changes to the team who snatched a dramatic late winner against Partick Thistle at the weekend as Jaison McGrath, Brophy, Scott McMann and Greg Doherty were all added to the squad.
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Danny Redmond, operating in a free role behind Jason Scotland and Andy Ryan, was a terror in the first half and at the heart of Hamilton's best attacking moves. After winning a corner from Ben Gordon, Redmond sent in a dangerous cross, which was poorly cleared by Stephen Simmons, landing nicely for Andreu to volley home.
Ziggy Gordon could have easily made it two on Hamilton's next trip forward, narrowly snapping a shot wide after a reckless clearance from Mark Docherty had presented him with an unexpected shooting chance, albeit from distance.
Andreu then squandered another opportunity for the hosts, ghosting behind the Alloa defence but poked his shot the wrong side of a post with only Gibson to beat.
Hamilton seemed to shrink from the physical confrontation and after labouring through the final 15-minutes, Alloa eventually made them pay through a well-taken goal from Spence. Atoning for an earlier missed opportunity, Spence latched on to an astute ball from Graeme Holmes to send a penetrating shot into the top corner.
Alloa began to feel the pace in the second half and Ryan went close with a shot from outside the area into the Alloa side netting before Canning found himself spare at the back post to head in Accies' second.
Scotland then highlighted some unimpressive Alloa defending, racing down the right touchline and crossing for the unmarked Longridge to head home into an empty net.
A late fourth goal from Brophy added gloss to Hamilton's victory but Alloa could count themselves somewhat unfortunate not to have pushed their hosts harder given their efforts and were ultimately made to pay for wasted chances.