IT WAS A day to forget for Alloa as their former manager Paul Hartley brought his Cove Rangers side to the Indodrill and left with a Championship scalp and a ticket to the next round of the Scottish Cup.

Hartley's League One team played with guts, desire and a hunger to win that Peter Grant's men simply couldn't match and you would do well to find anyone who would say the winners didn't deserve it.

Before the kick-off Alloa had plenty of reasons to be optimistic and think they were in with a good chance of progression to the next round.

Making his 359th appearance for the club and equalling Bobby Gray's record as the club's all-time record appearance maker, Kevin Cawley was set to face the man who signed him in Hartley and would have been keen to get one over on his old boss.

Alan Trouten finally returned to the starting line-up after a spell on the side-lines and Stefan Scougall was fit enough to make the bench.

It was Cove who started strongly and despite some nice passing from Alloa, the visitors looked the more dangerous of the two sides and had the better chances.

Ryan Strachan floated a nice ball over the top and Rory McAllister fired a half-volley towards Neil Parry, who got down well to save the shot.

Minutes later, Parry was called into action again. Cameron O'Donnell's pass was blocked and the ball fell into the path of Mitchell Megginson, but he only got a toe to the ball and Parry was down quickly to save.

Despite a few poor passes in the opening minutes, Nicky Jamieson showed what he is capable of with a long ball for Liam Dick's overlapping run but it was inches in front of the left-back who couldn't get a touch to bring it down.

With games across the country being postponed due to the weather conditions, Alloa's pitch was in fantastic condition and both sides took turns at showing off their passing ability.

The best chance of the match so far fell to Cove but they couldn't convert. O'Donnell was caught out on the half-way line and the visitors swarmed towards Alloa's goal. Blair Yule's floated cross towards the back post was volleyed by Jamie Masson but a slight touch took it just wide.

Just minutes later, Alloa took the lead. The ball fell to Trouten in the box and he managed to rattle a shot away that was blocked by the hand of Ross Graham. Referee David Dickinson didn't hesitate in pointing to the spot and Trouten, after waiting for the keeper to make a move, calmly slotted the ball into the net.

The lead would last for less than 10 minutes as Cove responded with a well worked goal. Masson picked the ball up on the left wing and skipped past Jon Robertson easily to cut onto his right foot. His shot may have been saved by Parry if not for a wicked deflection from a mixture of Jamieson and Andy Graham, which left the keeper with no chance.

Straight from the kick-off, Alloa regained their lead. Strachan's attempted clearance was blocked and the ball was controlled by O'Donnell, who made no mistake in volleying the ball past Stuart McKenzie, who was miles away.

Trouten only managed the first half and was replaced at the interval by Scougall, who was making his first appearance of the year.

The second half continued the same way the first 45 minutes ended, with Cove battering Alloa and pressing for a second equaliser.

Cove, currently second in League One, looked much more a Championship outfit than Alloa, who couldn't find a third goal to finish the game.

15 minutes before the end, Cove found another equaliser. Megginson went through one on one with Parry and the keeper got down well to save the shot, however he could only knock it into the path of McAllister, who made no mistake in volleying it into the net.

From then on, Cove looked the more likely of the two to progress. Alloa never looked like scoring and Cove continued to press forward.

In the 88th minute, Fraser Fyvie picked the ball up and ran at Alloa's defence. He passed to Megginson but was pushed by Ray Grant before picking up the return and Cove had a free kick.

Strachan stepped up and slammed the ball past Parry. If ever a goal was deserving of being the match winner in a cup upset, this was it. Parry dived but wasn't across quick enough to stop the defender's strike.

Alloa are now out of both cups and can focus fully on their league campaign. Last night's match against Ayr United was postponed so Hearts are up next at the Indodrill on Saturday.

Grant's men have already shown they can beat the Edinburgh title hopefuls this season and a win on Saturday would be the perfect response to a disappointing afternoon.

ALLOA: Parry, Robertson, Jamieson, Graham, Dick, Hetherington, Grant, Cawley, Trouten (Scougall), O'Donnell (Murray), Buchanan (Thomson). UNUSED SUBS: Willison, Malcolm, Connelly, Lynch