IT WAS a first win for the new gaffer over the weekend but it was Alloa’s old guard who sealed the victory.

Scott Taggart drifted in from the right wing to level the score after Bruce Anderson put David Martindale’s Livingston in front. Alan Trouten then arrived from the bench to convert a late penalty and secure the three points in the Premier Sports Cup and Barry Ferguson’s first Alloa win.

The line-up was almost identical to the team that were defeated days prior against Cowdenbeath. Neil Parry was replaced by Craig McDowall in goal, perhaps an early sign of Ferguson’s ruthlessness following Parry’s error against Cowdenbeath which allowed former Wasp Liam Buchanan to score a winner.

Cammy O’Donnell also made his first start of the season, replacing Kevin Cawley who was absent from the squad through injury.

Across the rest of the starting 11 there was a mix of faces old and new. Craig Howie partnered Andy Graham in the heart of the defence with Daniel Church at left-back. In the middle of the pitch Jon Robertson sat alongside Adam King while Conor Sammon lead the line supported by O’Donnell, Stefan Scougall and Steven Boyd.

The first dangerous ball by the visitors almost saw them carve out a chance. Howie misjudged the ball as it bounced over him and Craig Sibbald would have found himself one on one with McDowall were it not for Graham coming across to cover.

Soon after Anderson would then race through but couldn’t beat McDowall before the offside flag was raised.

One aspect that has been clear from both cup games so far is Ferguson’s desire for intensity. After more than a year with no fans in stadiums, it’s been a delight to hear the fans contest every decision and cheer every shot on target by Alloa or mistake by the opposition. However, above all the crowd noise is Ferguson’s voice, constantly shouting instructions from the sidelines.

Alloa’s first real chance of the game came from a moment of magic from O’Donnell. A ball booted into the heavens was controlled perfectly by the youngster on the way down. Running towards the byline, he produced a delightful piece of skill which gave him the half yard needed to find a cross. Sammon managed to get on the end of it but could only send it over the bar.

Livingston would then go on to take the lead through James Penrice but the flag was up for offside.

Alloa seemed more than happy to go direct at times with McDowall searching for Sammon. He didn’t win everything but when he did, something would come for Alloa. Howie managed to play the striker through one on one with the keeper and he managed to beat him but his shot was just the wrong side of the post.

Minutes later Alloa would hit the woodwork again. Taggart delivered a free-kick won by Boyd and Graham managed to loop a header towards the far post but it was too high and crashed against the crossbar.

Livingston were able to take the lead after the restart. The ball was played to Jackson Longridge out wide who delivered a first-time cross across the face of goal and Anderson nipped on to finish on the volley giving McDowall no chance.

Alloa would get their equaliser after some terrific possession. The ball was passed from Church to Howie to Robertson who then found Graham. Looking up, he clipped the ball wide to find Taggart’s run down the right wing.

Taggart faked to cross and then drifted inside. Assessing his options, he continued into the box before deciding to take matters into his own hands and side-footing the ball to the right of a helpless Max Stryjek.

After the goal it was Alloa who had their tails up and pushed hard for a winner. The desire to not let the game die down was highlighted by Ferguson running onto the park and kicking the ball back after a foul, determined not to have any time wasted.

Another deep cross went over everyone’s heads but O’Donnell, at the back post, appeared to be clipped by Ayo Obileye and a penalty was given. Having entered the pitch just minutes earlier, the stage was set for Trouten to score. Despite Stryjek guessing the correct way, Trouten found the bottom corner and put Alloa in front.

The result means Alloa sit fourth in the Premier Sports Cup, level on points with Livingston and three behind both Cowdenbeath and Raith Rovers. The Wasps travelled to Brechin last night after Advertiser Sport went to print and then face Raith this Saturday.

After that its League One action as the team travel to Peterhead for the season opener. With only two pre-season games before competitive football returned, there’s no doubt Ferguson will be using these games to tinker and experiment with what he wants from his squad. What is clear, already, is the intensity he desires and demands. There will be no room for slacking in this upcoming season.

ALLOA: McDowall, Taggart, Graham, Howie, Church, Robertson, King (Trouten), Scougall, O’Donnell (Armstrong), Boyd, Sammon (Armour). UNUSED SUBS: Parry