A NEW YEAR brings hope and optimism for the future and after a good little run of form was curtailed by two loses in three days, Peter Grant will be hoping Saturday’s draw is the beginning of another collection of points.

A huge away win at Arbroath saw Alloa claw their way off the bottom of the table before another comeback win against Inverness made it two in two.

However, a heavy Boxing Day defeat to Raith Rovers was followed by a 3-1 defeat to title hopefuls Dundee. Saturday was about ending a run before it even began.

Greenock Morton came to the Wee County looking to make it two in two after beating Alloa on the first day off the season.

From the first minute, the visitors were on the front foot but the Alloa defence proved they were more than up for the battle.

A diagonal switch was dealt with by Jon Robertson, Liam Dick made a great slide tackle to stop a counter and Nicky Jamieson, as usual, was heading every ball.

It wasn’t long before Neil Parry was called into action and he obliged with a great save. After going off during the Raith Rovers defeat and subsequently missing the Dundee game, it was great to see Parry back in the line-up and he done what he does best, stopping a long-range strike and then leaping above a packed box to palm away a corner.

As the game wore on, Alloa began to get a foothold of their own. A great touch and pass by Kevin Cawley found Innes Murray on the line but his cross was too far in front of Cameron O’Donnell. However, the young man never gave up, chasing the ball down and blocking the clearance to win a corner.

Jamieson leapt well to connect with Murray’s set-piece and maybe should have scored but the header went over the bar.

Late on in the first half and Alloa hit the woodwork. Ray Grant walked onto the ball and hit it first time with his right foot. The dipping effort just clipped the bar but the keeper was nowhere near. A few inches lower and Alloa would have the lead and Grant a goal of the season contender.

As the second half began Alloa continued to dominate without having anything to show for it. Steven Hetherington’s cross met Liam Buchanan in the box and he managed to lay off Cawley but his half-volley was blocked.

For all their possession, Morton proved they were still in the game and should have took the lead around the hour mark.

Jamieson failed to fully clear the ball and Luca Colville drilled the ball across the box, just past Kalvin Orsi who would have scored with any kind of touch.

Both Hetherington and Jamieson were down at parts in the second half however they were thankfully able to complete the full 90 minutes. Peter Grant’s injury list is already too big and the last thing he needs is another two starters joining it.

Jamieson slipped trying to head a ball clear and Morton were in. The ball fell to Aidan Nesbitt who should have buried it from five yards out but somehow he skied it over the bar.

However, soon enough Morton took the lead. Nesbitt’s floated corner was glanced on by Markus Fjortoft who got in front of Jamieson and Parry was helpless as he watched it sail into his far post.

Just after 70 minutes, O’Donnell was replaced by Robert Thomson as Alloa looked for an equaliser and the sub was involved immediately.

A great display of quick feet saw the striker get half a yard to float a cross towards Buchanan; however, it was just too high and he could only head it over the bar.

Nesbitt again had another golden chance, this time he did hit the target but he was blocked by Parry. He found himself alone at the back post and connected well with a cross to volley it but Parry was big and made a smart save.

Minutes later and Alloa equalised. Buchanan picked the ball up on the right of the box and drilled a volley towards Aidan McAdams who got down well to save it, however it squirmed underneath him and Thomson found himself staring at an empty net and tapped the ball in.

Neither side could take the lead in the final minutes and the game finished honours even.

Alloa slipped to ninth in the table with Queen of the South winning and are three points above Arbroath, who have a game in hand.

Next up for the Wasps is Scottish Cup action against Cove Rangers, led by former Alloa manager Paul Hartley.

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