ALLOA boss Peter Grant said he was delighted with his much changed team on Saturday despite the first half being such a disappointment.

His Championship side were 2-0 down at half-time to League Two's Stenhousemuir after the visitors punished the young Wasps in a tough first 45.

However, four goals in the second half swung the tie and saw Alloa secure passage to the last 16 of the Betfred Cup – setting up a home tie with Hearts.

Grant told Advertiser Sport: "It's such a big disappointment in the first half, I thought Stenhousemuir were excellent and we were very, very poor. I think we were fortunate to just be two down, to be honest.

"We knew prior to the game it would be difficult for us. Between the leagues I think there's a piece of paper to be perfectly honest with you and if you're not at it, there's a chance you're going to get hurt.

"I was more disappointed with the way we played, not the attitude of the players but the attitude of the way we played. [It was] sloppy, all the things that we pride ourselves on we didn't do well enough in the first period.

"The first half was way below where I felt we should be so there were a few choice words at half-time but I didn't need to say that, I think they've got a pride in themselves and their performance and they showed that in the second half.

"You've got give the boys great credit, the only way you can take away the embarrassment of the first half is by winning the game and I think in the second half we showed a completely different side of us and I was pleased with that."

Grant made huge changes to his squad and handed debuts to Lucas Williamson and Nicky Jamieson. Alongside Jamieson, Andy Graham got another 90 minutes in his legs, as did Stefan Scougall in the middle of the park.

He said: "The reason there was so many changes was because we've not had a pre-season of games, and all these boys have been excellent in training.

"They deserved an opportunity. I think that's what we're trying to build here, 20 players who can play in the first team.

"I'm delighted for them all because it's so, so important they get game time and we just can't find that.

"The bottom line is the first part of the game I thought you could see the boys hadn't played games, but they all deserved an opportunity with the way they've been training, it wasn't just because I wanted to change the team. I just feel we need everybody to have games in their legs and that was proven again."

Grant admits he won't be looking ahead to the next match of the cup and his focus is on the next game. Alloa play Queen of the South on Saturday and Hearts next Tuesday, two huge away games.

However, he was full of praise for the squad which sustained the pressure and managed to get a positive result.

He said: "It would be unfair of me to be critical of them. Andy [Graham]'s second game in 11 months, big Nicky [Jamieson] hasn't played since March and it's great that Stefan Scougall got 90 minutes, and for Liam Buchanan to score was excellent.

"Young Cammy O'Donnell's came in and done really well again, young Lucas [Williamson] has come in, for a young boy who could still play for the under 18s has done exceptionally well. It's great for him and Liam [Evans] but they've earned it the way they've worked on the training pitch."

Evans left the stadium on crutches and Grant says he's hopeful the youngster will be back soon.

"He got a kick in his foot," Grant said. "Unfortunately, I think he broke his foot last year and it's around about that area so we just need to be careful, but that shows the kid's guts.

""e only took him off to change the team a little bit and he comes off and he's got a problem. Hopefully, it won't be too serious and hopefully he'll be back soon."