Ayr United.............................1

Alloa Athletic........................2

Scottish League One

ALLOA recorded a vital win in their hunt for promotion as they took down leaders Ayr United at Somerset Park.

The Wasps fell behind but roared back with two goals in three minutes which secured the victory which took them back into the playoff places.

Lawrence Shankland gave the home side an early advantage, but Jamie McCart levelled things up with his first goal in senior football, while Ross Stewart gave Alloa the lead before 20 minutes had been played.

Jim Goodwin made one change to the team which drew with Raith Rovers last time out as Kevin Cawley replaced Kris Renton in the starting lineup.

New signing Callum Smith was named among the substitutes, while PJ Crossan made a surprise return to the matchday squad after injury.

However, the Wasps were without Craig Malcolm, who completed his loan switch to East Kilbride earlier in the week.

After a good start from the visitors, Ayr came into the game and when it opened up for Michael Moffat on the edge of the box, the former Dunfermline man wasn’t far away with a dipping volley.

Wasps skipper Andy Graham saw a header cleared off the line by Steven Bell as the game swung from end to end in the opening stages.

The league leaders were almost gifted an opener when McCart got caught under a high ball, allowing Declan McDaid to race clear, but McCart recovered well before goalkeeper Neil Parry snuffed out the attack.

However, there was nothing the Alloa defence could do when the deadlock was eventually broken.

A cross was headed out to the edge of the box, and Shankland struck a wonderful half-volley beyond the despairing dive of Parry and into the top corner.

But the response was immediate as the Wasps levelled the scores on 13 minutes. Flannigan’s corner was met by McCart, who had evaded the attentions of the Ayr defence and powered home a free header.

And the visitors completed the turnaround just four minutes later, largely thanks to despairing Ayr keeper Jack Ruddy.

There seemed to be no danger when he attempted to clear the ball just outside his box, but a horrific miscue let in Stewart

The striker was forced wide and couldn’t get much power in his shot, but as Ruddy attempted to save it, the ball slipped through his fingers and in off the far post.

Alloa's Graham was then denied by the offside flag when he prodded home from a vicious Iain Flannigan delivery midway through the first half in what was a lucky escape for the home side after their marking once again fell apart.

Jordan Kirkpatrick looked to test Ruddy with a swerving drive from distance, but this time the goalkeeper dealt with it comfortably.

Shankland has enjoyed a tremendous season at Somerset Park and could have had his second of the afternoon; however, he snatched at the chance and sent his shot wide from the edge of the box.

Moffat then tried his luck from distance, fizzing a drive just wide of Parry’s left-hand post.

The Honest Men continued to press at the beginning of the second half and Parry had to look sharp to deny McDaid after he had been played in by Shankland.

Shortly after, Shankland had a golden chance to tie things up when McDaid picked him out, but he could only blaze his shot over the bar from six yards out, with Parry beaten.

Moffat was having no luck in front of goal, and even when he did beat Parry, a combination of Jon Robertson and McCart hooked his shot off the line.

Craig McGuffie fired wide from distance as the hosts upped the ante in search of a leveller, before Parry made a fine save to keep out Jamie Adams’ header.

Even when Ayr did have the ball in the net they couldn’t find a leveller. The home side were penalised for a foul on Parry as the ball was bundled home after a scramble.

The keeper made another vital save from Craig Moore, while at the other end Ruddy denied PJ Crossan with a good stop.

Despite coming under mounting pressure the Wasps held on to secure the points and move back up to fourth at the expense of Stranraer.

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart (Robertson), Crane, Graham, McCart, Fleming, Cawley (Crossan), Hetherington, Stewart, Kirkpatrick (Smith), Flannigan. UNUSED SUBS: Renton, McKeown, Monaghan, Wilson.