THE irony of it all won't have been lost on the Wasps who escaped the last-minute holiday shopping only to endure another disappointing day at the Recs.

"We're simply having a wonderful Christmas time," blared the tannoy in the final seconds before kick-off seemingly oblivious Alloa are having anything but.

This wasn't quite the 4-1 loss of August but it was another reminder of the challenge facing the part-timers in their bid for survival. Alloa will spend Christmas Day bottom of the Championship table, five points adrift from the safety eighth place brings.

If omens are your thing – and let's hope they are not – Falkirk and Brechin City were the last two teams to tuck into the turkey bottom of the pile and both were still there come May.

A wonder strike from Nicky Cadden did the damage just after the hour mark on Saturday. A Jack Baird prod over the line just two minutes later knocked the stuffing out of the Wasps for good.

Take hope from the fact that when this Alloa team gets it right, it's not daft to say few in this league can match them.

No matter how bad a run they've been on of late, you always feel they are one good performance away from turning things around.

Iain Flannigan, when he caresses the ball with that wonderfully audacious air he so often exudes, could rightly claim to being one of the best part-time footballers in Scotland.

Then you've got those around him – Stevie Hetherington, Jon Robertson, and Kevin Cawley – who buzz so doggedly across the Recs turf you could be forgiven in the season of goodwill for sending happy thoughts the opposition's way.

For most of the first-half on Saturday, it was Morton, the visitors to the Wee County, who were on the receiving end of the Wasps at full flight.

Any worries the losses of Alan Trouten and Kevin O'Hara would stifle the fluid football of Alloa were put to bed in a 45 minutes which produced everything but a genuine shot on target.

That must have been a concern for Peter Grant, who's made no secret in recent weeks that he knows Alloa's irresistibly pretty play must turn into points on the board sooner rather than later. His own programme notes were pretty much dedicated to as much.

Liam Buchanan did have the ball in the net only for it to be cruelly chopped off for offside, with replays suggesting Peter Grant Jnr was a yard behind the veteran striker when the pass was played. It's the sort of rotten luck which has blighted Alloa's season.

The Wasps certainly couldn't be faulted for their effort and Buchanan's performance at the heart of the attack felt like a throwback to his previous life in Clackmannanshire. His non-goal aside, he was inches from collecting a Scott Taggart cross for an early shot at goal and later stung the palms of Danny Rogers after barging his way into the Ton's box.

Seconds later, after Andy Graham had awoken the sparse crowd with a neat turn past four Morton men, the visitors' goalkeeper clawed a dangerous Buchanan cross off Robert Thomson's toes.

David Hopkin's side, for their part, found plenty of joy down Alloa's right-hand side in the opening exchanges with both Adam Livingstone and later Cadden blitzing past Scott Taggart only for their delicious balls across the face to evade everyone.

That wasn't the only scare for the Wasps and when Robbie Deas carelessly gave the ball to Aidan Nesbitt, the winger fired a shot down the throat of Jamie MacDonald. Nesbitt - who was the best player on the park when the sides last met - later squirrelled away from Liam Dick only to be foiled by MacDonald again.

The second-half started much the same: plenty of lovely football from Alloa's midfield foursome without the final piece in the puzzle to ever really test Rogers in the Morton goal.

But, the visitors grew increasingly dangerous and it wasn't long before the fatal blows landed. Cadden and Baird's strikes came barely seconds apart, a quick one-two Wee County Taekwondo star Michael Wiseman would have been proud of.

The Wasps never stopped trying and no one will ever fault them for their effort, but Morton's goal continued to remain relatively untroubled as the game simply petered out.

Let's just hope – with Partick Thistle and Arbroath to come in the New Year – Mr Claus has a sackful of new recruits when he stops off in Clackmannanshire.