Queen’s Park.....................1

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

Scottish League One

ALLOA had their loan stars to thank as they came from behind to record a valuable victory, further cementing their playoff credentials by beating bottom side Queen’s Park.

The visitors' Aidan Keena put the hosts ahead early in the second half with an audacious effort from long range.

However, Callum Crane’s first league goal for the club levelled things up before Jordan Kirkpatrick netted for the first time since returning to the Wasps on loan from St Mirren.

Alloa came into the game on the back of a thrilling victory over Arbroath last Tuesday, but manager Jim Goodwin still made several changes to his starting lineup.

Hat-trick hero Ross Stewart and fellow goalscorer Garry Fleming were both among those to drop out, with Kris Renton and Jon Robertson replacing them.

Kevin Cawley and Steven Hetherington were also rested as Iain Flannigan returned to the starting side and Callum Smith made his first appearance after serving a two-match suspension.

It was the on-loan Dunfermline youngster Smith who carved out the first real chance of the game, but he couldn’t keep his shot down, sending it narrowly over the crossbar.

The Wasps had a decent shout for a penalty when Renton was felled in the box, but the referee waved away the protests from the men in black and gold.

It was a first half of few opportunities, but soon after the interval the deadlock was broken in stunning fashion. Goodwin had highlighted Keena as the man to watch in the build-up to the game, but he was powerless to do anything as the Hearts loanee spotted Neil Parry off his line and beat the keeper from all of 40 yards with an outstanding strike.

But the visitors kept up their hunt for a goal and it arrived soon after through another loanee from Edinburgh. Hibernian’s Crane, so often a standout performer in defence, found the back of the net with his first league goal for the Wee County side.

Alloa began to pile the pressure on the Spiders, and Michael White was forced into a good save by Kevin Cawley, but there was nothing the goalkeeper could do about the winning goal.

Kirkpatrick’s strike was worthy of winning any game and was richly deserved given the midfielder’s efforts since returning on loan from St Mirren in January.

That goal rounded off a hard-fought victory and ensured the Wasps made it two wins in the space of four days, a run they will seek to continue in the coming weeks.

It meant Alloa kept pace with Arbroath in the race for third, with the two sides separated only by going difference as the season approaches its final weeks.

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