Alloa Athletic…...........0

Ladbrokes SPFL – League One

ALLOA slumped to another defeat as two second half goals saw them beaten in Stranraer.

Strikes from Ryan Wallace and Jamie Hamill meant the Wasps extended their winless streak to four games and piled pressure on manager Jim Goodwin.

He made two changes to the team which drew with Arbroath a fortnight ago, club captain Andy Graham returning to the fold after injury along with Alan Cook, Steven Hetherington and Frank McKeown the men dropping out.

Ex-Stranraer man Craig Malcolm had to settle for a place on the bench on his first return to face his former team.

There was an early scare for the Wasps when Stranraer came forward threateningly, and Cook’s heart was in his mouth when he turned a through-ball towards his own goal, but the winger was thankful to see it sail wide of the post.

The home side were more dangerous in the opening stages and Callum Crane was called into action, clearing Grant Anderson’s header off the line after the former Raith man had got on the end of a Wallace corner.

Cook looked lively for the visitors and it was his good work which almost led to the opener. He latched onto a loose ball out wide and flashed a terrific ball across the face of goal, but Kris Renton was just too far away to get anything on it – any contact would surely have given the Wasps the lead.

Alloa were growing into the game and teenage striker PJ Crossan’s driving run from inside his own half had the visiting fans on their feet, but the Celtic loanee couldn’t find an end product as he dragged his shot wide of Cameron Belford’s post.

The Wasps looked dangerous on the counter and when Crossan burst down the right, he had a two-on-one with Cook waiting in the middle. He tried to play in his team-mate, but as he shaped to shoot, Jamie Hamill got back to make a crucial intervention.

By the half-hour mark Alloa were the dominant force again, and after Cook linked up well with Crane on the left, Kevin Cawley fired in a shot on the turn which was not too far away from finding its intended target.

Stranraer thought they should have had a penalty when Anderson’s shot hit Scott Taggart and bounced up onto the defender’s arm, but it would have been harsh in the extreme and the referee waved play on – to the fury of the Blues’ winger.

The hosts had re-taken the initiative as half time approached, and Woods would have given his side the advantage at a perfect moment had his shot not cannoned off his team-mate Wallace and into the grateful arms of Parry.

Alloa were back on top in the opening moments of the second half, and Cawley’s low drive skidded just past the post after he had been played in by Cook.

But they were almost made to pay for their missed chances immediately when the home side went agonisingly close to taking the lead. Kyle Turner skipped past Taggart’s challenge and fired a shot across Parry, only to see it come back off the post.

However, the hosts would have the lead just before the hour mark. Wallace raced onto a bouncing ball midway inside the Alloa half, beat Daryll Meggatt for pace and smashed an unstoppable shot beyond Parry and into the top corner to open the scoring.

Another talking point arrived ten minutes later when Woods raced through and was hauled back by Meggatt. Despite the home support howling for a red card, the referee opted for a yellow, which was the correct decision given that Crane was getting back in support.

From the resulting free kick, the Blues almost doubled their advantage, Scott Agnew getting the very best out of Parry who made a fine save.

The Wasps threw everything forward in an attempt to find a leveller and only a crucial tackle from Liam Dick prevented Crossan from doing just that, while Malcolm almost made it a fairytale return to his old stomping ground with a looping header which sailed just wide.

But the points were in the bag for Stranraer just seconds later. Again they countered, and again Hamill was the man in position to receive a perfectly-weighted ball from Danny Stoney. This time the former Hearts man made no mistake, rifling the ball past Parry to double his team’s lead and make sure of the victory.

That meant another defeat for the Wee County side, who are now eighth in the League One table, just two points above the relegation playoff place.

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart, Crane (Martin) Graham, Meggatt, Robertson, Cawley (Fleming), Flannigan, Renton, Crossan, Cook (Malcolm). UNUSED SUBS: Wilson, Hetherington, Goodwin.