Alloa Athletic….......1


Scottish League One

ALLOA continued their good run of form with a hard-fought victory over Airdrieonians last Saturday.

Craig Malcolm’s goal just before the interval was enough to separate the sides and ensure the Wasps made it three wins out of three.

Captain Andy Graham saw a last-minute penalty saved by Kyle Gourlay, but it didn’t matter as his side held on to keep up their winning streak.

The home side had won both their previous two games convincingly, but found this a much tougher prospect as Airdrie proved difficult to break down.

Alloa started brightly and PJ Crossan was a big threat, bursting forward from midfield and looking to play in Malcolm only for his pass to be cut out.

Airdrie also looked promising, however, and Luke Watt fizzed an effort just over Neil Parry’s crossbar from distance after a driving run from midfield.

That was followed shortly afterwards by a golden chance for the visitors. Kieran MacDonald’s cross-come-shot was beaten away by Parry, and with the goal gaping, Tom Fry sliced the loose ball past the post.

This was the wake-up call Alloa needed, and they nearly went in front when Scott Taggart’s volley from an inventive set-piece routine was blocked by the Airdrie defence.

Ryan Conroy was pulling the strings in the middle of the park for Airdrie but he was also causing issues around the box, seeing an effort from close-range deflected behind by a resolute Wasps defence.

Graham had a good chance with a header but couldn’t get enough power on it, and Gourlay gathered easily, before Iain Flannigan curled a free kick just over the bar.

But it was not long before the home side did get their noses in front. Flannigan swung in a corner, Graham knocked it down and Malcolm took a touch, turned and stabbed it home from close range to give the Wasps the initiative.

Having opened his league account last week, he could have made it three in two games five minutes after the interval, but the ex-Stranraer striker was not able to get enough on Jon Robertson’s fine low cross.

Robertson then had a chance of his own, sending a first-time effort over the bar after Crossan had found his late run with a good ball across the face of goal.

Airdrie were fighting bravely and Alloa’s hearts were in their mouths when Jake Hastie’s shot flashed wide midway through the second half.

And there was another scare for the home side when Parry was forced into a terrific one-on-one save from Willis Furtado, Robertson making a fine block to keep out Scott Stewart’s follow-up.

Flannigan went close again, curling in a shot which was held by Gourlay, while Parry did well to cut out a dangerous cross from MacDonald.

Gourlay was an impressive performer between the sticks for the visitors and produced the save of the game with five minutes remaining. Crossan burst into the box and unleashed a stinging drive which looked destined for the top corner, but the goalkeeper somehow got a hand to the ball and sent it over the crossbar.

In stoppage time, Alloa were handed a golden route back into the game when Crossan was tripped in the box by MacDonald. Graham stepped up, but Gourlay read his kick perfectly and made another terrific save, before his defence cleared the danger.

Ultimately, though, it didn’t matter as the Wasps held out to record a third successive victory, and one which moves them from sixth up to third.

ALLOA: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Fleming, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Malcolm (Renton), Crossan (Martin), Flannigan. UNUSED SUBS: Meggatt, Monaghan, Goodwin, Wilson.