CALLUM CRANE defied the odds to take to the field for Alloa last Saturday after injury threatened to rule him out of their Scottish Cup clash with Dundee United.

The left-back picked up an ankle knock in the defeat to East Fife and manager Jim Goodwin told the Advertiser last week that his loan star was almost certain to miss out.

However, the 21-year-old put in the hard graft on the training ground and was rewarded as he made an unlikely recovery to start for the Wasps.

Crane told Advertiser Sport: “I went off against East Fife last week and I was only sure I’d make the game on Friday.

"I did a fitness test and when I was sprinting, turning and jumping, everything felt good. I worked really hard during the week and I was pushing on Wednesday and Thursday to make sure I was fit.

“It’s always good to play in this sort of games because it’s not often you get the chance to play one of the bigger teams at home, so I was determined to be fit for it.”

Ultimately, the Hibs loanee was unable to help his side to victory as a goal in each half saw United through to the fifth round, but Crane believes Alloa performed admirably in defeat.

“Dundee United are a good team," he said. "We could have scored in the first minute and if that chance had gone in the game would have been very different.

"The goals we conceded were poor from our point of view. There was obviously a big deflection for the second one and at the first one there was arguably a foul but we should have done better. It’s a tough result to take for us.

“We would have loved to go in at half time level. Right before the break was a terrible time to concede a goal but we tried to come out in the second half and get one back.

"But they’re a good side and there’s a reason they are challenging at the top of the Championship.

“I thought we played really well for the most part. They have experienced players who have played at a high level but they definitely didn’t come down and pass us off the park.

They didn’t cause us a massive amount of problems and it definitely wasn’t an easy game for them.”

The Wasps return to league duty on Saturday aiming to close the gap between themselves and opponents Raith Rovers, and Crane reckons the squad will be desperate to pick up a vital three points in the League One promotion race.

He added: “I don’t think it will take much to lift us for next week because we played well against United. It’s not like the boys are downhearted, because we didn’t disgrace ourselves.

"We will be right up for the game on Saturday because we want to make sure we get back to winning ways. It’s another huge game so we’ll make sure we’re ready.”