IF YOU’RE not going to win the game, make sure you don’t lose it.

Alloa manager Barry Ferguson said something along those lines earlier in the season after a late David Goodwillie goal sealed three points for Clyde and stole a point from the Wasps.

On Saturday, as the game against Falkirk looked to be heading for a share of the spoils, the Bairns took the lead through a somewhat controversial penalty.

Thankfully Ferguson’s men equalised, straight from the kick-off, through Euan Henderson’s fifth goal in three games to make it three league matches without defeat for just the second time this season.

After starting Mouhamed Niang at left back in last weekend’s victory over Airdrie, Ferguson returned to a more conventional back line with the versatile Jon Robertson replacing Niang on the left.

Niang moved into a midfield three alongside Charlie Gilmour and Craig Howie which sat behind the attacking trio of Henderson, Steven Boyd and Stefan Scougall.

Former Wasp Stevie Hetherington was able to face his former team after his red card from the previous week was rescinded and the travelling Alloa faithful wasted no time in booing the midfielder.

The hosts would be the first of the two teams to strike an effort towards goal but thankfully both early strikes, both from Michael Ruth, were either straight into David Hutton’s arms or narrowly past the post.

Alloa’s first chance came from absolutely nothing but it highlighted the threat and spark Henderson offers. Hutton’s clearance, on his weaker left foot, somehow bounced through the Falkirk defence and Henderson pounced. He drove past the defenders and fired a shot at goal from a tight angle but goalkeeper Paddy Martin was able to save.

The rest of Alloa’s chances in the first half were long range efforts. First it was Boyd, cutting in from the left wing as he so often does before opening his body up and forcing Martin into a good save.

Henderson was next to shoot from distance but the shot was deflected; if Scougall was a little sharper he might have got on the end of it before Martin rushed out to collect.

The interval arrived with no side able to take an advantage in what was a poor half for both teams in all honesty.

Falkirk came out the traps quickest after the break and pounced on every Alloa mistake.

Boyd’s poor pass saw the hosts counter but Robertson was able to clear the cross. Hutton then tried to clip a ball to Robertson but played it out the park and gifted Falkirk the ball back.

Next it was captain Mark Durnan who played a slack pass to Boyd and allowed Aidan Nesbitt to steal the ball but the former Greenock Morton man couldn’t do anything dangerous with it.

Alloa would then have the ball in the back of Falkirk’s net but the offside flag was raised. Boyd’s mishit volley landed right in front of Henderson and he unleashed a venomous volley past a helpless Martin. A goal of the season contender if the Hearts loanee was onside.

It wouldn’t be until the final 10 minutes before the game sprung into life. Hetherington pulled Niang down in the middle of the park but the referee never gave a foul.

As Alloa raged, Falkirk then broke up the park and a cross was delivered which was judged to have been blocked by the arm of Durnan. Callumn Morrison, only recently on from the bench, sent Hutton the wrong way and put the hosts in the lead.

A huge setback for the Wasps, but the response was excellent. Conor Sammon came on to be a target man and, despite not winning Durnan’s searching ball, he done enough to ensure the Falkirk defender could only head it into the path of Kevin Cawley.

The Alloa appearance record holder was able to cut inside to his left foot and poke a shot at goal. Martin was able to save but Henderson was in the right place and was somehow able to sort his feet and bundle the ball over the line.

In the end the two teams shared a point in what was probably a fair result as neither side dominated the game and both had their fair chances to score.

It’s certainly a missed opportunity for the Wasps as a win – which would have been their third league win in a row and the first time they managed that feat since April 2019 – would have seen them leapfrog Falkirk into fifth.

However, they still remain just five points off the top and, most importantly, should have a settled and competitive squad to choose from.

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