ALLOA returned to winning ways on Saturday with a strong performance against fellow promotion hopefuls Montrose.

After dominating against Falkirk the previous weekend, the Wasps were dealt a setback when they were defeated 2-1 by Airdrieonians.

However, goals from Mouhamed Niang and Adam King ensured Barry Ferguson’s men got back on track.

Ferguson made some changes to the squad with Conor Sammon returning to the starting XI and Daniel Church taking his place at left-back. Jon Robertson returned to the centre of the pitch while Kevin Cawley started on the bench.

Alloa dodged a few bullets in the first half as they rode their luck at time. Barely two minutes into the match, Robertson must have thought he’d given the hosts a penalty when he clumsily brought Blair Lyons down in the box however the referee was unmoved.

Montrose wouldn’t have to wait too long for another penalty shout and this time it was given. Hardly three minutes had passed since the last penalty claim when some comical Alloa defending allowed Lyons to skip past half a dozen Alloa players before taking the ball around David Hutton.

The penalty certainly looked soft but Montrose deserved at least one. However, Lewis Milne’s attempt was weak and off-target, leaving the game goalless after a frantic opening.

Over the last few weeks, Niang has impressed as one of Alloa’s most consistent players. A wonderful mix of energy and work-rate, his determination to win the ball back granted the Wasps their first real chance of the match. Winning the ball in his own half, he found Sammon and continued his run. Unfortunately for the visitors Sammon’s pass was just behind Niang and he was crowded out before he could get his shot away.

If this was to be a warning for Montrose, they didn’t take notice.

Facing his own goal, Mark Whatley received the ball but didn’t notice Niang closing him down. Stealing the ball, he composed himself and slotted the ball to the left of Allan Fleming and into the net.

Not content with getting his name on the scoresheet, Niang would also add an assist to his name. A poor clearance was collected by the midfielder who played a delightful one-two with Euan Henderson. Terry Masson attempted to close him down but he was too quick and poked the ball into the centre of the pitch for Adam King. He only needed two touches: one to settle himself and another to rifle the ball into the top corner.

A frantic opening 45 minutes came to a close with Alloa two goals to the good.

Alloa were able to tighten up in the second half and reduce Montrose to half chances. After Fleming ran 40 yards from his goal to clear the ball, King’s first-time speculative effort nestled onto the roof of the net.

Steven Boyd was allowed to run from his own half into Montrose’s box and rounded Fleming before passing to Cawley. Cawley again took the ball around Fleming however his left-footed effort was weak and cleared off the line.

In the end the scoreline remained the same as it was at the interval and Alloa were able to take three points back to the Wee County.

The result means Alloa have 10 points from seven games and sit in sixth place, three points off the top. However, the table is tight and Alloa must find some consistency if they are to secure promotion back into the Championship.

Ferguson’s men have yet to win back-to-back league matches, only going two games without defeat once. The manager has repeatedly said it will take time for his methods and style of play to take shape, and the performances are certainly starting to improve.

Up next for the Wasps is a trip to Dumbarton, who currently sit second in the table and three points above them. Now is certainly as good a time as any for the team to win successive games.

ALLOA: Hutton, Taggart, Mendy, Durnan, Church, Robertson, Niang, King, Boyd (O’Donnell), Henderson (Cawley), Sammon. UNUSED: Burt, Howie, Graham, Lamont