Alloa Athletic…........4

East Fife….................1

ALLOA got back to winning ways with a convincing victory over East Fife last Saturday.

The Wee County side fell behind early on to a Kyle Wilkie strike, but levelled through PJ Crossan.

Steven Hetherington’s free kick gave the Wasps the advantage, and goals from Andy Graham and Iain Flannigan made the points safe.

Alloa came into the game in desperate need of an upturn in fortune, having failed to win since the victory over bottom side Forfar on September 9.

In the four games since, the Wasps had picked up just two points, both creditable draws away to Ayr United and Arbroath, but after the fallout from the disappointing defeat to Stranraer still lingering, manager Jim Goodwin was anxious to see his side take all three points.

The home side came into the game with a raft of injuries, which meant a makeshift lineup took to the field at the Indodrill Stadium. Jon Robertson moved from midfield to right back, Scott Taggart shifted infield to centre-back and Garry Fleming in midfield.

Under-fire manager Goodwin was dealt another heavy blow just eight minutes into the game. Wilkie picked the ball up about 25 yards from goal and unleashed a dipping shot which flew into the top corner to give the visitors the lead.

The Fifers almost repeated the trick ten minutes later when Paul Willis fizzed an effort over the crossbar from distance.

Alloa were offering very little in the final third but did force a corner when Hetherington’s speculative shot was deflected over.

But just after the midway point in the first half, the Wasps were gifted a route back into the game. Robertson’s low cross proved too hot for Mark Hurst to handle, and Crossan was first to react as he prodded the loose ball into the empty net.

However, all the pressure was coming from the visitors, and they were unlucky not to go two in front when Duggan’s cutback looped up off the foot of Callum Crane and just a couple of inches past the post.

Two minutes before the interval the visitors went close again. Greg Hurst turned on the edge of the box and had a good go, but he just dragged his shot wide.

And the Wasps hit back with a vengeance as they took the lead for the first time. Hetherington swung in a free kick from midway inside the East Fife half, and although several players from both sides attacked the ball, it beat everyone and bounced into the net to complete the turnaround.

East Fife came out firing in the second half, and Nathan Flanagan found a decent opening when the ball fell to him on the edge of the box, but he snatched at the chance and blazed it over the crossbar.

But on the hour mark Alloa extended their lead in controversial fashion. Hetherington’s miscued shot took a nick off a defender and fell to Graham, who turned and slotted the ball beyond the goalkeeper. The visiting players protested furiously, claiming that the Wasps captain was offside, but the referee waved away the appeals and the goal stood.

And with a quarter of an hour played the Wasps made the points safe. Crossan won a free kick 25 yards from goal, and Flannigan stepped up to curl an unstoppable effort beyond the goalkeeper and into the net.

It had been a poor game with few clear-cut chances, but somehow the Wasps found themselves 4-1 up, and they almost added to their tally when Kris Renton glanced a header just wide of the post.

Alloa saw the game out fairly comfortably after that to claim what was a valuable three points, which saw them climb one place to seventh in the League One table.

Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Fleming, Robertson, Cawley (Martin), Hetherington, Malcolm (Renton), Crossan (Cook), Flannigan. Not used: Wilson, Goodwin.