ONE down, nine cup finals to go in Alloa’s hunt for Championship survival. Thankfully, they will have plenty of chances to right the wrongs of this disappointing defeat to Dunfermline.

Aberdeen loanee Bruce Anderson’s well-taken finish early in the second half was the difference between two sides who produced a disjointed, scrappy, turgid affair on a blustery day in the Wee County.

A day in which Alloa’s impotence failed to land a meaningful blow on Dunfermline, who defended stubbornly from the first minute until the last.

An Andy Graham hook cleared off the line by Louis Longridge shortly after the opener was the only real Alloa chance of note in a damaging weekend for their survival hopes.

Jim Goodwin was in the stands on Friday night to watch Falkirk take all three points against Ayr United and shortly after the final whistle on Saturday news arrived of Partick Thistle’s stoppage time winner. For the first time all season, the Wasps are rooted to the foot of the table with a sizeable gap between them and ninth.

How different things could have been had Euan Anderson pointed to the spot after only eight minutes when Dario Zanatta looked to have been clearly dragged to the ground by James Craigen. Inexplicably, the whistler waved play on as black and yellow jerseys raged all over the pitch.

It was one of few meaningful moments in a truly wretched first half of football. With the wind wreaking havoc, neither side managed to string together anything closely resembling fluid football.

Time after time, final passes were overhit or aimless long balls were gobbled up by both sets of centre-halves as those of us unfortunate enough to be watching pleaded for some quality.

Sam Roscoe, who was very good beside Graham, had to be alert to force Anderson wide after he had rounded Neil Parry and Tom Beadling later had the game’s first effort on target 34 minutes in. His daisy cutter from 20 yards was comfortably collected by the Alloa stopper.

Mercifully, the second half produced a more entertaining course of events, but even these barely got the pulse racing for those cheering on the hosts.

When Anderson latched onto a Josh Thomson ball from the right, flicked it over Graham, and slotted it past Parry 53 minutes in to give the game its only real moment of quality, he ultimately secure a fifth win in a row for Stevie Crawford’s men.

The visitors had certainly come out in the second half firing as they looked to put to bed any fears that the manager of the month curse was about to strike again. Even before the goal, they had put the Wasps under a relentless spell of pressure.

Kallum Higginbotham forced Iain Flannigan into evasive action with a ball across the face and the Pars pinned Alloa inside their own third with a succession of corners. With the Wasps struggling to find a way out, Anderson’s strike was just rewards for Dunfermline’s rampant pressure.

But against the run of play, Alloa somehow found a way into Ryan Scully’s penalty area and forced a corner.

Steven Hetherington’s delivery swirled in the wind, causing panic in the Pars rearguard which was so nearly punished by Graham’s acrobatic effort. Unfortunately, Longridge got the better of him and nodded the ball away.

Life was suddenly coursing through the Alloa veins and Zanatta was next to try his luck, picking up a loose ball, driving past Lee Ashcroft, and forcing Scully into his most meaningful action of the day at his near post.

By now Goodwin had gambled and thrown on Jordan Kirkpatrick – in the hope he could recreate the same magic from Dumfries – and the midfielder was having an impact.

With Connor Shields now partnering Zanatta in attack, Alloa tried to force the issue against an increasingly resolute defence.

The goal which they craved never arrived, however, and only really another effort from Graham across the face of goal ever looked like snatching a point from the game.

Dunfermline, seemingly happy for one, never forced the issue, steadied the ship at the back, and happily kept Alloa at arm’s length for the rest of the day.

ALLOA: Parry, Dick, Taggart, Roscoe, Graham, Hetherington, Flannigan, Shields (Cawley 83), Hamilton (Kirkpatrick 59), Trouten (Aitchison 79), Zanatta. UNUSED SUBS: Robertson, Brown, Peggie, Henry.