SOMETHING has clicked for Alloa Athletic Women.

Sunday saw the team lose their fifth successive league match. They are currently the only team in the SWFL North/East league who don’t have a single point. Their goal difference is -19.

Yet on Sunday, when the full time whistle was blown, there was an electricity in the stadium. The players gathered together for a cool down. The mood seemed somewhat joyous.

The players – and manager Allan Salvona – could all feel it. You could almost see every player realising how much the team has improved, how much this group of players – who didn’t know each other barely four months ago – are starting to become a team, a collective unit.

Sunday was a special day for Alloa Athletic Women.

At times this season Alloa have only started with 11 players and one substitute. Fitness levels dropped towards the end of games as players tired. On Sunday the bench was somewhat fuller, with two substitutes to compliment the squad.

Jade Ferguson was unavailable so Abbie Trotter sported the captain’s armband. New signings Claire Stirling, Heather Dickson and Hayley Preece all started. Strummer Bernard was the lone forward.

The first real chance for the hosts came early when Summer Garrity’s wonderful through ball found Dickson’s run but she couldn’t find a teammate with her cross.

Minutes later it was East Fife Development’s turn to split the Alloa defence, with a great pass finding Rebecca McAdam’s run. Goalkeeper Sinead Kerrigan reacted quickly and was out to block the effort.

Lucy Bryant then used her pace to run through the Alloa defence but again Kerrigan was quick and scooped the ball easily.

East Fife, second in the league at kick-off and still the only unbeaten team in the league, were passing the ball well and had players with great technical ability.

However, they struggled to cause Alloa any serious problems. Two efforts hit the woodwork early in the match but for the majority of the first half Trotter was on hand to deal with any danger and anything she didn’t get to Neve Burrows or Molly Williams stepped in.

When East Fife did eventually score, it was a poor goal to concede. Alloa’s only fault was a lapse in concentration. A deep corner to the back post found Kerry Dickson, who was unmarked, and she headed the ball past a helpless Kerrigan.

At the interval the score was level and Alloa could count themselves unlucky to be behind.

East Fife would put the ball in the net within minutes of the restart but the referee gave a foul for offside.

Alloa would then have their best chance of the match so far. Great strength by Dickson won the team a throw in and she found Preece who controlled well and found Bernard with a through ball.

The striker was able to set herself and smashed a left footed shot towards goal that went agonisingly wide of the post.

Another aspect of the match that will please Salvona is the team’s camaraderie and willingness to work for each other. When Lucy Bryant raced past Stirling, Burrows was there to clear the danger.

When Trotter won the ball, ran 50 yards and won a throw in, she went down with cramp afterwards. After getting to her feet, East Fife sensed a weakness and so at the first opportunity Chloe Laing just knocked the ball around Trotter and attempted to get on the end of it but Williams was there to stop her.

Unfortunately for Alloa another lapse in concentration would cost them dearly. This time Williams was at fault, trying to be too clever on the edge of her box. Stacey Penman was able to steal the ball from her and made no mistake in scoring past Kerrigan.

Kerrigan was called into action once again, getting two strong fists to Kerry Forsyth’s free kick to push it past the post.

Alloa finally got a reward for another brilliant move. Again it was started by Dickson, who drove forward down the byline and played another good through ball to Bernard, who won a free kick.

Williams stepped up to take the set piece and clipped the ball perfectly over Holly Bonellie and into the far post.

Unfortunately the goal came too late and despite Alloa throwing everything at it in the final minutes, they couldn’t get the equaliser they desired.

A fifth successive defeat is no cause for celebration, and the team will be desperate to end that streak.

However, Sunday’s performance felt like a turning point. Alloa looked like a team, a unit, not 11 players who had barely played together before. If Alloa do go on to have a successful season, it will be this performance that kickstarted the season.

ALLOA: Kerrigan, Stirling, Burrows, Williams, Trotter, Dickson, Duffy, Garrity, Yorke-Edgell, Preece, Bernard, McGuigan, Morrison