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

Scottish League One

ALLOA slipped to a disappointing defeat in Stranraer as the home side battled to a hard-fought three points.

Ross Lyon struck a minute before half time to give the hosts the lead, a goal which would prove the difference between the sides.

Jim Goodwin’s squad was boosted by a number of players returning to the squad after injury or suspension.

Jamie McCart and Steven Hetherington came straight into the starting lineup as Garry Fleming and the suspended Callum Smith dropped out.

The manager still named himself on the bench, with the Wasps not quite back to full strength in the wake of their recent personnel crisis.

Stranraer started brightly and almost had an opener inside four minutes when Ryan Thomson powered a header towards goal, only for Callum Crane to head it off the line.

The home side continued to press and Dean Hawkshaw saw a looping header of his own held by Neil Parry, before another chance for Thomson was snuffed out by a combination of the goalkeeper and Scott Taggart.

They were almost in again after Alloa played themselves into trouble at the back and lost the ball, but Stephen Okoh couldn’t connect properly with his shot.

The Wasps had very few openings in the first half, and the closest they came was when Kris Renton pounced on a defensive slip, only for Stranraer to clear the danger.

But the opener did arrive on the stroke of half time, and it was a nightmare moment for Parry.

There didn’t seem to be much on when Lyon picked the ball up on the right, but his speculative shot squirmed under the goalkeeper’s body and into the net.

The second half began in the same vein as the first and Thomson went close again, lashing a shot over the bar from 20 yards or so.

Five minutes after the break Alloa finally had their first effort of the match as Iain Flannigan’s cross was met by Jon Robertson, but his header was straight at Max Currie.

Kyle Turner was causing the Wasps problems on the left wing, and he was only denied by a terrific challenge from Taggart after he had worked his way into a good position in the box.

Currie was finally seriously tested on the hour mark, stretching to hold onto a Jordan Kirkpatrick free kick which had looked destined for the top corner.

Alloa began to grow into the game and Robertson’s attempted hook across goal came back off the post, before Ross Stewart’s shot went just wide of the mark.

And they were denied an equaliser in controversial circumstances. A corner followed a goalmouth scramble, and Kirkpatrick forced the ball over the line, but the linesman flagged for offside despite a Stranraer defender lying prone on the goal line.

Kirkpatrick saw another shot saved by Currie as the visitors became increasingly desperate to find the goal that would level the scores.

Stewart had made a real impact since coming on and he was agonisingly close to tying things up when he got in behind the defence, only to stab wide from an acute angle.

There were huge appeals for a late penalty when the ball appeared to strike a blue-clad arm from a Flannigan corner, but the referee waved away the protests.

Renton saw a smart half-volley on the turn saved by Currie as the home side saw it out by the skin of their teeth to claim a valuable three points and give Alloa’s playoff hopes a setback.

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