ALLOA were left to rue missed chances as they fell to a disappointing defeat against Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday.

In an open contest, the recalled Greig Spence spruned a number of opportunities while the visitor’s Andy Ryan looked in the mood.

But, Jackson Longridge’s stunning strike midway through the second half proved decisive in a frustrating day for the hosts.

Looking to get a reaction from his side after their first defeat in four at Ayr, Jim Goodwin made four changes to his starting eleven.

In came Spence, for his first start since September, Steven Hetherington, Kevin Cawley and Alan Trouten. Out went the injured Iain Flannigan and loanees Connor Shields, Jake Hastie and Liam Burt dropped to the bench.

In recent weeks, Dario Zanatta had looked like Alloa’s danger man and he was living up to that billing. After winning a free kick on the edge of the area, he got on the end of Hetherington’s delicious delivery but could only head it wide.

It was proving to be a surprisingly open match between two sides who had produced a bore draw in the league not so long ago. Ryan and Heats’ loanee Aidan Keena both forced Neil Parry into action either side of the Zanatta effort.

And then came the two key chances Alloa would be left to rue. First, Spence dallied after receiving Zanatta’s cutback and allowed Lee Ashcroft to get in behind Lee Robinson and clear off the line. Then, the big striker went even closer when he darted to the front post and got on the end of Scott Taggart’s cross, but the Pars keeper denied him at point blank range.

At the other end, it was Parry’s turn to deny a free flowing move as he rushed off his line to prevent Aidan Connolly slotting home.

The Alloa stopper was called into action again not long after when he clawed Ryan’s goalbound header past the post in what proved to be the final chance of an entertaining half.

The second half was a much quieter affair, but Dunfermline looked to have a foothold in the match as it neared the hour mark.

Suddenly the Wasps were struggling to hold onto the ball as the Pars upped the ante. A Zanatta dive when in a good position did little to lift spirits.

And spirits were crushed in the 68th minute when Longridge fired home from the edge of the box past a helpless Parry to give Dunfermline a deserved second half lead.

Goodwin had seen enough and within minutes Hastie and Adam Brown were introduced as the Wasps looked for the equaliser their first half performance merited.

It was the Pars who continued to go close and Sam Roscoe had to take evasive action to clear after Ryan had rounded Parry.

The Wasps had struggled to create any real clear cut chances since halt time and with the clock ticking down Ahmed Aloulou was brought on as a last throw of the dice; with Burt and Shields both on the bench, it seemed a huge call.

But, it made little difference as the Dunfermline defence stood strong and Alloa lacked the cutting edge to find a way through.

It’s proving to be the story of the Wasps’ season.