Christian Doidge’s second-half double sent Hibernian into the Betfred Cup semi-finals as they came from behind to win 2-1 at Alloa.
The Scottish Championship part-timers threatened to emulate their second-round win over Hearts as they led through Paul Hanlon’s 34th-minute own goal following some impressive first-half play.
But Hibs dominated the second half and Doidge converted two of a number of good chances.
Hibs, who were without top scorer Kevin Nisbet because of a “slight muscle injury”, made a lively start.
But Alloa quickly settled and began to knock the ball about with confidence on the artificial surface, with former Sheffield United and St Johnstone midfielder Stefan Scougall in particular showing real class on the ball.
The hosts lacked a bit of punch and belief when they entered the final third, though, and Hibs created a flurry of chances around the half-hour mark.
Jamie Gullan saw a shot pushed over following a long diagonal from Ryan Porteous and Hanlon flicked the ball over after Martin Boyle’s driven effort.
The visitors might have had a penalty after Nicky Jamieson misjudged Porteous’ through ball to leave Gullan one on one. The striker went round Neil Parry and appeared to be clipped but stayed on his feet despite momentarily losing balance.
The chance ultimately came to nothing and referee David Munro played on.
Alloa soon went in front after Scougall skipped round Lewis Stevenson and delivered a low cross.
Kevin Cawley burst on to it and benefited from a break of the ball and hesitancy in the Hibs central defence. Ofir Marciano saved from close range but the rebound ricocheted off Hanlon and over the line.
Jack Ross brought on former St Mirren midfielders Kyle Magennis and Stevie Mallan early in the second half and Hibs levelled after the latter’s 62nd-minute corner.
Hanlon atoned for his earlier error by winning the first ball and Doidge forced it over the line from close range.
Hibs pushed for another. Jamieson cleared off the line from Magennis and Doidge came close from two headers either side of blazing over from six yards.
The striker finally got his second goal in the 82nd minute when he headed home from inside the six-yard box after Mallan had produced an excellent piece of penalty-box skill and clipped a cross.
Alloa re-emerged as an attacking force and almost grabbed a farcical equaliser when Marciano’s clearance cannoned off home sub Cameron O’Donnell and flew just over the bar.
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