Alloa Athletic…1

Dundee United…1

FOR the second week running Alloa Athletic came from behind to claim a point as they held Dundee United at the Indodrill Stadium.

Paul Watson headed the visitors in front against the run of play, but Iain Flannigan’s superb free kick ten minutes from time levelled the tie.

Fresh from claiming their first point of the Championship season against Inverness, Alloa made two changes, with Alan Trouten replacing Greig Spence while new signing Sam Roscoe made his debut in place of the suspended Zdravko Karadachki.

Fellow new recruit Connor Shields, who signed on loan from Sunderland on Friday, had to settle for a place on the bench.

United looked shaky from the start and when Dario Zanatta pounced on a woefully short header back from Frederic Frans he should have done better, but he was unable to lift his effort over Matej Rakovan.

The Wasps were the better team and Jake Hastie almost capitalised on another slack bit of play from Stewart Murdoch, only to see his shot blocked by Watson.

United grew into the game and Watson should have done better when he rose unchallenged to meet a Fraser Aird corner, heading just wide of the target on the half-hour mark.

But the Wasps had a golden chance to take the lead moments later. Alan Trouten raced onto Kevin Cawley’s slide-rule pass, and his ball across the face would have resulted in the opener had either Hastie or Zanatta gambled.

That quartet were linking up really well and Zanatta stung the palms of Rakovan with a low drive after he had been set up by Trouten.

On the stroke of half time, the visitors almost took the lead, but Neil Parry made a terrific point-blank save to deny Aird.

United went on the attack right from the very start and Craig Curran hooked a shot towards goal, but it was straight into the arms of the grateful Parry.

The main talking point of the game arrived ten minutes after the break. Curran went up with an aerial challenge with Scott Taggart, and the United man appeared to elbow the Alloa defender. However, referee Alan Muir elected to show a yellow card to the Canadian who was perhaps fortunate.

Alloa continued to impress and had another great chance to take the lead when Hastie picked out Andy Graham, but the captain’s header was just wide of the target.

And moments later, Zanatta dragged a shot just wide as the home side began to really turn the screw.

The Wasps really needed to take one of their chances but let another slip by when Hastie showed great footwork in the box only to slice his effort wide of the mark.

Liam Dick came agonisingly close to what would surely have been a goal of the season contender, producing a stunning volley from the edge of the box which fizzed just over the bar.

And seconds later, the Wasps were made to pay for their profligacy as Watson put the visitors into the lead, heading home from Aird’s corner.

They thought they had scored soon after when Yannick Loemba slotted home, but he was denied by the assistant’s flag.

Flannigan was a key man for the Wasps all afternoon and was only denied a leveller when Rakovan produced a wonderful save to tip his free kick onto bar.

Curran was extremely fortunate to escape a second yellow when he hacked Hastie down on the edge of the box.

But the Wasps were level with nine minutes to go, thanks to a stunning equaliser from Flannigan. After Zanatta was fouled just outside the box, the midfielder stepped up and curled a wonderful free kick into the top corner to haul his side back on terms.

Moments later, Liam Burt won a free kick in a similar position when he was chopped down by Frans, but this time Flannigan’s aim was off as he sent his effort high and wide.

Alloa held on to record a second successive draw, but in truth they will consider themselves unfortunate not to have claimed all three points, having dominated large parts of the game.

Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Dick, Roscoe, Graham, Hetherington, Flannigan, Cawley (Brown), Trouten (Burt), Hastie, Zanatta (Shields). Not used: Robertson, Peggie, Spence, Henry.