A THOROUGHLY dominant second half performance was more than enough for Alloa to seal a well earned victory over East Fife.

Brian Rice’s team travelled to Bayview Stadium, home of the league’s bottom club, on the hunt for a three points which would be another step further from the relegation play off position.

The gaffer – coming into the game on a run of one defeat in four – named the same side that defeated Peterhead one week earlier as the club looked to record successive league victories for only the second time this season.

It was also a chance for Alloa to get a bit of revenge on East Fife after their 3-1 victory over the Wasps in their previous fixture was the final nail in former manager Barry Ferguson’s coffin and ended a thoroughly disappointing managerial reign.

In truth, Alloa started a little poorly with a number of players – most notably Scott Taggart – gifting their opposition the ball under no pressure. Rice gestured to his players to calm down and start to pass the ball. When they did, they were simply too good.

Rice has made no secret of what he wants from his team and that’s goals and clean sheets. It is a delight at times to see the forward players link up and, when it works, it almost always ends with a chance. Conor Sammon is working well as the target man and has the skill to link up with the willing runners of Euan Henderson, Steven Boyd and Kevin Cawley.

Within minutes a chance came. PJ Morrison’s kick was headed on by Sammon and Henderson raced towards goal. Eventually he gave Sammon the ball back but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet. When he did manage to get a shot away the effort was tame.

East Fife’s game plan was clear: soak up the pressure and wait for the opportunity to counter through Danny Denholm and Kyle Connell.

However, Andy Graham and Mark Durnan were on hand and easily snuffed out the majority of the danger, forcing the hosts into poor crosses and speculative efforts.

Chances would continue to fall Alloa’s way. A clipped through ball by Cawley was knocked into Henderson’s path and his effort was blocked.

From the resulting corner Craig Howie somehow found himself with the ball in the box but his shot went over the bar.

Another Henderson effort would end the half and, despite hitting the target, it was easy for Jude Smith to collect.

After East Fife appealed for a penalty for an apparent elbow from Durnan early in the first half, there was another shout in the opening 10 minutes of the second half but referee Chris Fordyce wasn’t interested.

It wouldn’t be long after that Alloa took the lead. A long ball was headed towards East Fife’s goal and Henderson tried his best to find a yard to shoot. Eventually the ball fell to Boyd and his cross was collected by Cawley who poked it past Smith for his second goal in as many matches.

Less than five minutes later the lead was doubled. Stefan Scougall picked up the ball and drove into the box past a couple of defenders. He was clipped, the referee blew his whistle and then he slotted the ball past Smith from the spot.

Alloa could smell blood. A long ball should have been easily dealt with by the hosts but somehow Henderson won it and got a cross in. Adam King’s effort was blocked and then Ross MacIver’s shot was saved.

King would then turn provider, cutting the ball back for Henderson but his shot from six yards out went over the bar.

Henderson would eventually get his goal, although whether he can claim it as his own is up for debate. Collecting a clearance, he was given far too much time to stroll towards East Fife’s goal. When he did strike, his effort took a touch off the back of Boyd’s head – not that he knew much about it – and looped into the net.

Knowing how obsessed Henderson is with goals, he’ll undoubtedly be claiming it as his, but Boyd may have other ideas.

In the end it won’t bother Rice as his side won the match and ensured they’d won two of four must win matches.

With five games left the Wasps are now nine points clear of Dumbarton, who occupy the relegation play off position.

It is Dumbarton who are up next for Alloa, and a victory would surely cement Alloa’s position in the league for next season.

However, with the promotion play offs just 10 points away, it is unlikely but not impossible. Not yet anyway.

After such a poor first three quarters of the season, Alloa are finishing strongly under their new manager. What might have been if he was brought in earlier.

ALLOA: Morrison, Taggart, Howie, Graham, Durnan, Cawley (King), Steven Boyd (O’Donnell), Scougall (Niang), Robertson, Henderson, Sammon (MacIver). UNUSED: Hutton, Church, Armour, Armstrong, Riley-Snow