IF EVER there was an image to sum up the fighting spirit in this Alloa side, then surely a battered and bruised Andy Graham sprinting back onto the pitch in desperation to help his team must be it.

The Wasps had just taken the lead through Steven Hetherington’s freak corner and were defending for their lives to make it four wins on the spin when the veteran crumpled to a heap on the turf.

Lyndon Dykes’ meaty challenge would have gotten the better of weaker players, but there are few things that would have stopped the skipper from being there when his side needed him most.

The Doonhamers threw the kitchen sink at Graham and the rest of the Alloa rearguard for the remaining minutes but they were not for turning.

There’s no doubt the Wasps have played better and left the field with nothing during this relentless season and Jim Goodwin himself later admitted Queen of the South should have taken at least a point.

But, Gary Naismith’s men found themselves up against an inspired Neil Parry who – on the rare occasions the makeshift backline failed in their duty – almost single-handedly secured the win.

Long before Hetherington’s fortunate strike in the 73rd minute, Parry had to be at his best to deny Dykes after the Australian pinched the ball from Graham on the edge of the Alloa box.

Parry’s reactions were excellent, but the Wasps were fortunate to present Dykes and not the injured Stephen Dobbie with the chance.

At the other end, Dario Zanatta failed to continue his fine form as he flicked a goal bound Graham header over the bar and later Jack Aitchison benefited from a mistimed leap by Barry Maguire to sting Jack Leighfield’s post before the Queen’s defence scrambled Kevin Cawley’s follow up away.

Parry was by far the busier of the two goalkeepers and the stopper produced a remarkable double save on the stroke of half time to send the sides in level at the break.

It looked for all the world that Scott Mercer was going to make it 1-0 and the visitor’s skipper could hardly believe it when Parry clawed his effort off the line down to his right.

Last week, the Wasps had got caught out just moments into the second period and history would have repeated itself were it not for Parry. When Jon Robertson was bamboozled by Jordan Marshall, he had Parry to thank for bailing him out with a fine, sprawling save at his near post.

The hosts were fortunate to still be in the game as it neared the hour mark but should have snatched the opener only for Zanatta and Alan Trouten to get in one another’s way as they vied to tap home Iain Flannigan’s inviting delivery.

Jack Hamilton was next to go close and the youngster really should have made the net bulge as he got on the end of Cawley’s fine pass. Instead, he found Leighfield’s midriff with only the keeper to beat.

Hamilton’s introduction – along with Connor Shields – was a sign of Goodwin’s attacking intent, fully in the knowledge of how crucial three points would be to the cause as the Wasps tried to breakdown Queen of the South’s stubborn backline.

As the seconds ticked away, it looked increasingly likely that either madness or inspiration would decide this one. Suffice to say, it was the former.

Hetherington’s corner looked overhit and harmless enough until the vicious Wee County wind took the ball into the net amid scenes of disbelief.

An even bigger cheer, however, was saved by the Alloa faithful for Graham’s return to the field following the incident with Dykes.

And there was still time for Parry to deny the Queen of the South front man right at the death.

This was three points won on guts alone. Now, just three more from three games should be enough to seal the Wasps' place in history.