Alloa Athletic.......................2
Raith Rovers........................5
Scottish Championship

BOXING Day for many is a day of relaxation, of polishing off the leftovers from the previous day and putting your feet up in front of the telly.

For Alloa, it was a day they'll want to erase from their minds quickly. On a miserable, wet and freezing cold December day, Raith Rovers came to town, scored five and took all three points home.

Peter Grant was looking to make it three consecutive league wins for the first time this season and continue the fine purple patch his club were enjoying. However, it turned out to be a forgettable performance that he won't want to see repeated.

Injuries meant that Scott Taggart, Alan Trouten and Stefan Scougall were still unavailable, with Ray Grant making his first appearance since the start of the month. Youngster Cameron O'Donnell kept his place in the side while Innes Murray was looking to repeat his heroics of the previous week.

From the very first minute, Raith Rovers looked like they might be a handful. Manny Duku's pace and power saw him gallop through on goal but Jon Robertson was able to clear.

Alloa's first chance came from a great piece of play by O'Donnell. Collecting the ball near the half-way line, he drove at the Raith defence and found Liam Buchanan who played the youngster through. With the angle tightening, he cut it to Murray who faked a shot with his right and then struck with his left, forcing former Alloa loanee Jamie MacDonald into a save.

Liam Dick then managed to score with his right foot but he was judged offside. Minutes later Andy Graham leapt for a header and won the ball, clattering Duku in the process. It would be the first of many battles between the Dutchman and the Alloa defenders.

With just over a quarter of an hour on the clock, the visitors scored. A free kick from the edge of the box was floated in by Daniel Armstrong and Duku jumped above everyone to power a header past Neil Parry.

Raith would have their second just 15 minutes later. A smart turn by O'Donnell found Grant who played a great through ball to Buchanan but his cross was easily collected by MacDonald.

From there, Raith broke up the park and Armstrong's cross from the right wing caught Parry in no man's land. The keeper couldn't sort his feet and the cross clipped the far post and found the net. Whether the horrendous conditions caught the keeper out remains to be seen but it's not one he'll want to see back.

The second half began with a strong penalty claim for Alloa. Graham flicked on the ball with his head and it appeared to hit Fernandy Mendy's arm but the appeals from the players fell on deaf ears.

Alloa would survive a few half chances for the visitors and then with 15 minutes left, they halved the deficit. More good play from O'Donnell saw him whip a cross in which Nicky Jamieson stabbed towards goal and Buchanan pounced to side foot the ball into the net.

With 82 minutes on the clock, Raith scored their third. Again, a set-piece wasn't dealt with by Alloa and the ball was knocked back into the box. Lars Lokotsch found himself alone and prodded it towards goal and Reece Willison, who replaced the injured Neil Parry at half-time, couldn't stop the ball from rolling into the net.

Just five minutes later, Alloa scored again. A floated ball into the box was heading for Liam Buchanan and he was clattered by Robbie Thomson. Buchanan placed the ball on the spot and calmly dispatched it.

However, straight from the kick-off Raith scored again to put the game out of sight. A long ball up the park wasn't dealt with and the cutback was finished by Ethan Ross.

Minutes later and Ross scored his second and Raith's fifth. Picking the ball up miles from goal, he was able to dance through Alloa's midfield and then the defence before slamming the ball past Willison.

Much like the Dunfermline visit earlier in the season, the scoreline ran away from Alloa as the game came to a close. When Buchanan scored to make it 2-1 with 15 minutes left, it seemed like Alloa might go on to complete the comeback, like they did against Inverness the week before, but Raith responded straight away.

Results elsewhere meant that Alloa stay in eighth in the league. After Advertiser Sport went to print, they travelled to Dundee. Earlier on in the season Alloa lead Dundee 3-1 before they clawed their way back to a draw. If Alloa play like they did on that occasion, they should be confident in taking three points back to the Wee County.

ALLOA: Parry (Willison 45), Dick, Graham, Jamieson, Robertson, Hetherington, Grant, Murray, Cawley (Thomson 55), O'Donnell, Buchanan. UNUSED SUBS: Connelly, Malcolm, Williamson, Lynch, Evans