WHEREVER Jim Goodwin was tucking into his Christmas turkey yesterday, he was surely asking himself the age-old question.

How high could this Alloa side climb in the Championship if they started to take their chances?

Crucially, they took two from a hatful on Saturday to secure a vital three points on a day where their relegation rivals faltered.

A stunning free kick from Iain Flannigan and a tap-in from Dario Zanatta was the best Christmas present anyone at the Indodrill Stadium could have hoped for as they climbed to the dizzying heights of eighth in the table.

Flannigan was at his cultured best throughout and had nearly opened the scoring just moments in when he saw a deflected drive from just outside the box squirm inches wide of the target; but he would get his just rewards later in the day.

The last time the sides met, Alloa had blown away Queen of the South in a 25 minute, three goal laden spell. They seemed determined to do the same on Saturday as Zanatta - so often a key figure for the Wasps - followed up Flannigan’s early effort by nodding the ball onto the crossbar ten minutes in.

The Stephen Dobie-less Doonhammers could hardly be accused of lacking in effort with Lyndon Dykes and Josh Todd trying their best to make up for the veteran’s absence.

The former was arguably the visitor’s best player on the day, but he is a pale imitation of Dobbie and a big miss, one-on-one with Neil Parry as his side hunted for the equaliser in the second half, underlined the Doonhammers’ lack of quality.

So often this season, Alloa have played like a team destined for the Premiership playoff rather than fighting over the League One place but just lacked the quality to turn a point into three.

Much of this match seemed to be following the same script especially when Queen's nearly opened the scoring against the run of play on the stroke of half time. Somehow, Parry tipped Callum Semple's header over the bar.

Just before Parry's heroics, efforts from the soon to be departing Jake Hastie brought out the best in Alan Martin on a day that emphasised the youngster's raw potential.

The hosts weathered the Queen of the South storm ten minutes either side of half time and Flannigan duly delivered in the 63rd minute after Zanatta had been fouled.

However, looking at the Connor Shields shaped hole on the Alloa bench, the squad continuous to look depleted.

With January just around the corner, new recruits and holding on to as many of the loan players looks vital for the Wasps.

One player who could be leaving is Zanatta and he would be a big blow as he led the line superbly. Any chance of the Canadian being invited to Gary Naismith's to enjoy the festivities was put to bed by a strong, athletic, and direct performance that tormented the visitors.

He deserved his goal as he slotted home in injury time after Martin could only parry Liam Burt’s stunning drive.

At the other end of the pitch, praise must be given to Jon Robertson who slotted into left back in Liam Dick’s absence effortlessly.

But perhaps that sums up the lack of depth in Clackmannanshire and, if they are to survive, the New Year must herald new recruits.

For now though, Goodwin, his staff, and the squad earned every right to tuck in to their Christmas Day feast.