Alloa Athletic..................0

Scottish League One

A DEPLETED Alloa battled to a hard-fought draw at Gayfield on Saturday as they kept a grip on third place.

The Wasps went up against their playoff rivals with just three named substitutes thanks to an injury crisis, with manager Jim Goodwin one of the trio alongside defender Frank McKeown and reserve goalkeeper Andrew Wilson.

Alloa were further depleted during the game when Dunfermline loanee Callum Smith was controversially sent off, but they held out for a valuable point in testing conditions.

Iain Flannigan made his 100th start for the Wasps and in a game of few chances, it was his delivery which almost led to the opening goal, Kris Renton heading the long-serving midfielder’s corner onto the crossbar.

One-time Alloa winger Omar Kader looked dangerous for Arbroath throughout but was unable to make the breakthrough, while Ryan Wallace, who netted against the Wasps for Stranraer earlier in the season, also went close.

Jordan Kirkpatrick saw an effort saved as the visitors went close again but the first half was a poor affair.

The second half was marginally more entertaining, and Kirkpatrick was denied again by Lichties keeper David Hutton as the away side searched for a breakthrough.

However, the Wasps’ prospects of taking anything from the game were left hanging in the balance when Smith, making his first start, was given his marching orders. The youngster’s challenge on Ricky Little was slightly reckless but most inside the ground were shocked when the referee produced the red card instead of yellow.

Chances followed at both ends and Callum Crane sent an effort wide, while Michael McKenna had a chance to win it in the dying seconds but could not direct his header on target.

The result means the Wasps stay in third place in League One, but the number of players missing will be a concern for boss Goodwin, with a run of five games in the space of a fortnight awaiting his side.

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Robertson, Fleming, Smith, Crossan, Renton, Kirkpatrick, Flannigan. UNUSED SUBS: McKeown, Goodwin, Wilson.