A young Dundee Colts side almost shocked League One Alloa in the Irn-Bru Cup first round only to fall to a 4-2 defeat at Dens Park.
Three first-half goals from Craig Malcolm, Callum Crane and Iain Flannigan had the League One side on their way before Dark Blues striker Matthew Henvey pulled one back before the break.
As the second period wore on, the home side grew in confidence and Henvey added his second with 10 minutes to go to set up a nervy finish for the Wasps only for Malcolm’s late second to put Jim Goodwin’s side into round two.
Dundee’s Head of Youth Jimmy Boyle’s charges were an inexperienced bunch with only Jesse Curran and goalkeeper Callum Ferrie having been in and around the first team of late.
They did start the game well, though, putting some good passing moves together but when it came to the final third the Alloa defence snuffed out any danger.
And it was the Wasps that had the first effort of note as Scott Taggart was left free on the edge of the area from a corner. He controlled and fired a good shot goalward only to see Ferrie tip over with a fine save.
On 12 minutes, though, they were ahead. A cross-ball from the left wing found it’s way to the back post where striker Craig Malcolm stepped inside and found the corner from six yards.
They doubled that lead nine minutes later as right-back Taggart lofted over a cross for fellow-full-back Crane to knock in at the back post.
It was almost three on the half-hour mark as Andy Graham headed over from a corner before they did extend the lead through Flannigan. Kevin Cawley made it with good work on the wing before Flannigan fired his low cross into the roof of the net.
It was looking like a long night ahead for the Dundee Colts but they gave themselves something to shout about with five minutes to go before the break. It came from good play on the edge of the Alloa area before Ian Smith fed Henvey just inside the area. The young striker picked his spot and found the top corner to get his side on the scoresheet.
After the break, the young Dark Blues were looking a bit more confident as Cameron Mooney flashed an effort just past the post on 48 minutes.
The contest, though, meandered along without either keeper tested until the Wasps came close twice in the space of a minute just after the hour.
First Cawley had a chance running onto a Malcolm cross but couldn’t control his effort before sub Thomas Grant curled the ball just over Ferrie’s bar.
On 71 minutes, Dundee came close to cutting the deficit as Henvey again had a sight of goal but his shot on the turn was blocked before the ball fell to Ian Smith, who blazed over from the edge of the area.
Two minutes later and there were chances at both ends. First Dee keeper Ferrie was caught out of position as Grant took advantage of a mix-up at the back but the forward’s shot was blocked.
Then straight up the other end, sub John Smith ran clear down the left but his effort from the angle was pushed wide by the Wasps keeper.
The Dundee Colts were causing problems late on for the League One side and next to try his luck was Jesse Curran but the Australian blazed well over from 18 yards.
And they made it 3-2 after 79 minutes as Henvey got his second of the evening, turning in John Smith’s low cross from the left.
The Dark Blues pushed on looking to force extra-time but it was Alloa who sealed the win with Malcolm knocking in with 90 minutes on the clock.
In the end, the League one side go through but the Dens kids had them worrying for a while and there were plenty of positives for the Dark Blues.
Dundee Colts: Ferrie, Dryden, Rice, Curran, Piggott, Moore (Berry 71), Mooney (J Smith 62), Lambert, Henvey, Anderson, I Smith (Matthew 76).
Alloa: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Meggatt, Robertson (Hetherington 58), Cawley, Flannigan (Grant 58), Malcolm, Renton, Cook (Martin 69).