ALL eyes were on Alloa Athletic today as they welcomed FC Edinburgh, a team which has brought them defeat twice already this season.

However, it was the home side’s time to shine as a dominant first half performance was enough to see out a 2-1 victory over the visitors at the Indodrill.

Two goals from Conor Sammon gave the hosts the lead in the first forty-five minutes with Edinburgh pulling one back at the start of the second half.

Alloa ran the show during the first half, but Edinburgh grew into the game and controlled the second half.
The hosts found themselves on the backfoot from here on, but solid defending and some fine stops from goalkeeper Jay Hogarth ensured Alloa took the three points.

Manager Brian Rice was pleased with the result, commending his team’s drive to keep the score tipped in their favour.

He said: “It’s a huge result:  the three points were vital at home today and I’m absolutely delighted to get the win.

“I thought in the first half, we could’ve scored in the first ten, fifteen seconds. We looked dangerous in the first 20 minutes, we scored two fantastic goals coming from two great crosses.

“Fair play to Edinburgh – they’ve got brilliant spirit. I knew they would come back into the game and they did. We had to see the other side digging in and it’s a great credit to the lads here today.”

Inside the first ten minutes, Alloa saw two great chances squandered.
Luke Strachan, a left back who was utilised at centre back today, saw a good header bounce off the bar.

A few minutes later, Conor Sammon has the ball in the back of the net but it is ruled out due to a foul on the Edinburgh defender.

Sammon’s hunger was clear throughout the game as he continued to chase the ball and put pressure on the visitors, finally being rewarded for his efforts – scoring after a perfect cross from Strachan.

Alloa maintained pressure and Sammon was on hand to score again just ten minutes later after a fantastic assist from Daniel Church. It looked like clean sailing from here for Alloa.

The manager was full of praise for Alloa’s talisman, who seems to have regained his goalscoring form after a short while shooting blanks.

“He got back on the scoresheet last week and now he’s back on it with two today,” Rice added. “Two fantastic crosses, he’s got to finish them and he goes and does that.

“He scores another one which I think he’s a bit unlucky to get chalked off for the corner. Like I said to the lads, today was all about winning. We jumped into fourth so we’re all quite happy just now.

“I can go home and rest easy knowing that win, lose or draw, they’re giving me everything. It’s great to get the three points on a Saturday night.”

Next up for Rice’s side is a home game in the fourth round of the Scottish Cup, with the boss looking forward to welcoming rivals Falkirk to the Indodrill.

He said: “A cup tie is a special occasion. It’s a massive thing for clubs like us. We got through a tricky round last time against Broomhill and now we face Falkirk.

“I’m looking forward to a good game and a good crowd here. Cup games is all about what happens on the day – taking your chances and not making too many mistakes.

“I hope it’s a really good game.”

Alloa Athletic play Falkirk in the Scottish Cup at 3pm on Saturday, January 21 at the Indodrill.

ALLOA: Hogarth, Taggart, Strachan, Scougall (O'Donnell), MacIver, Robertson, Stanger, Sammon, Church, Cawley (Donnelly), King (Graham).