A MIDFIELD masterclass from Innes Murray gave Alloa and Peter Grant the Christmas present they were all dreaming of.

After going a goal down to Inverness Caley Thistle, Murray's exceptional free-kick was followed by an inch perfect cross which Robert Thomson put away to make it two league wins in a row for the Wasps.

Murray's free-kick was wonderful, and he was unlucky with another two attempts. Truth be told, however, Thomson's volley was weak and Mark Ridgers won't be in a hurry to see any replays.

Sometimes in football you need that little rub of the green and Alloa have had it in their last two league games, with the winners both coming from goalkeeping errors.

Grant won't worry about that though. His side sit eighth in the table and after a good performance in between those league wins against Hibs in the Betfred Cup, he will be hoping momentum carries on as they look to settle themselves somewhere in the league table far away from the relegation zone.

When the teams were announced, Alloa made one change from the line-up that was defeated by Hibs. Stefan Scougall, scorer of the winner in the last league game, was out with a heel injury picked up in the Betfred Cup. His replacement, Murray, would make a very strong claim to keep his place in the side moving forward.

Four minutes before kick-off and Alloa had made their first change. Alan Trouten dropped out of the starting line-up and was replaced by Cameron O'Donnell. Whether the late change startled the home side is unknown but from the beginning it was the visitors who looked most threatening.

Within 10 minutes they had taken the lead. Robbie Deas, returning to the Wee County for the first time since leaving Alloa, leapt well to knock the ball back into a dangerous area and Brad McKay controlled it well and smashed the ball past a helpless Neil Parry.

Maybe the goal was the wake-up call Alloa needed and they started to hold onto the ball and move it around. Some of the close control and crisp passing by the likes of Steven Hetherington and Kevin Cawley really is a joy to watch and they began to dominate the ball in the middle of the park.

When they did get into dangerous areas, more often than not the final ball let them down. Lee Connelly cut inside twice from the left wing and shot, with Liam Dick offering a great overlap that Connelly should have took. Cawley picked the ball up in the middle of the park and tried his luck from distance more than once but they were never troubling Ridgers.

By the time Alloa got their equaliser, well into the second half, they could probably count their blessings ICT hadn't been more clinical. One or two half-chances could have been buried on another day and Alloa would have had a mountain to climb, but Murray soon took the game into his own hands.

Parry's long goal kick bounced right over the head of Danny Devine and he pulled back Liam Buchanan who had sneaked in behind him. Devine received a yellow card and Murray placed the ball.

On loan from Hibs, Murray has made a decent number of appearances so far but has struggled to leave a mark on the games. He changed that with the sweetest of strikes. Curling the ball from the middle away from the flat-footed Ridgers, he gave the keeper no chance and his own side a fighting chance.

If his goal was an act of sheer individual quality, his assist was one of Alloa's best team goals of the season. O'Donnell and Murray exchanged a pass or two before Murray's first touch allowed him to drive down the wing. He looked up, saw Thomson drifting towards the back post, and sent the ball floating towards the big target man.

Thomson practically walked onto the cross and connected well with his left foot, even if the strike didn't have much power. What looked like a routine save somehow managed to trickle through the hands of Ridgers and suddenly Alloa had a lead to defend.

As well as scoring what would be the eventual winning goal, Thomson's overall play really helped his teammates out. With Alloa holding on to their lead, his great hold-up play and quick feet in the corner of the pitch killed precious seconds to see the game out.

Peter Grant has repeatedly said his team's performances haven't been reflected in the results however his side are now finding their form.

The away win against Arbroath began a great week that included a strong performance against top-flight Hibs and Saturday's comeback against ICT.

Boxing Day sees Raith Rovers come to Alloa and, having only lost once so far, they won't be an easy nut to crack. However, Grant's men have proven they can go toe to toe with anyone and they won't go into the game looking for anything but a win.

ALLOA: Parry, Dick, Graham, Jamieson, Robertson, Murray, O'Donnell, Cawley, Hetherington, Connelly (Thomson 61), Buchanan (Malcolm 86). UNUSED SUBS: Willison, Williamson, Lynch, Evans