BRIAN RICE said Saturday’s victory was exactly what he thought it would be as he praised his squad for their efforts through the summer.

Alloa travelled to Broadwood Stadium to face Cumbernauld Colts in a friendly and were comfortable 3-0 winners thanks to a double from trialist Brad Rodden and a header by Andy Graham.

Rice, speaking exclusively to Advertiser Sport, said he’s delighted with how pre-season is going so far.

“It’s been great, the boys have been fantastic,” he said. “They’ve came back in really good condition. They had a programme to work to and they’ve obviously done that and more so I’ve been delighted with them.

“We’ve had four sessions and two games which is highly unusual but it’s a good way to get them fit. I’ve got a good group in there.”

Rice explained that for the most part these games are about ensuring the players’ fitness levels are ready for the first competitive game of the season next month.

He said: “Mostly at the minute it’s about getting their fitness up. There’s a structure that we play to, we’ve got our foundations, our principles of how we play but I’m not too worried about that at the minute. It’s just about getting the game time in the legs and getting them ready for the [Premier Sports] cup.

“It was exactly how I thought it would be. We had a lot of possession, pitch was really sticky but we got a good workout. We scored three goals, we could have had a few more but I’m delighted with the workout.

“It’s important I get time into the legs for my squad players. It’s also important I gave a couple of trial players a wee shot and obviously I want to see the younger ones coming from the under 20s, getting them around about it to see if they can handle it.”

Trialist Rodden opened the scoring for the Wasps after Mark Durnan's through ball wasn't dealt with by the Colts defender. Rodden bravely nudged the ball past the outrushing keeper to put the Wasps in front.

He doubled his tally for the day with a clever finish from a tight angle, once again getting on the end of Durnan's through ball and slotting the ball into the far corner.

Rodden is playing for a contract and Rice insists he didn’t do his chances any harm with his performance.

Rice said: “He scored two goals, that’s what he done and he’s improved his performance from the other night [in the defeat to Partick Thistle].

“I told him I’d bring him in, give him a chance and have a look at him. Not for a week or two but three or four weeks and it’s up to him to keep improving but he’s doing that at the minute. I’ll not rush into any decisions but he’s not doing himself any harm scoring two goals.”

After Rice made several changes as the game progressed, it was a familiar face who sealed the victory. Cammy O'Donnell's corner to the front post was met by Andy Graham who made no mistake in finding the back of the net.

Also featuring was George Stanger, who joined the club from Dumbarton and Rice knows exactly what he's getting from the defender.

Rice said: “I think George was a wee bit rusty. He was excellent against Partick Thistle the other night. I know him, I know I can trust him, I know what he’s going to bring to the team. I’m delighted with George.”

The manager also addressed the goalkeeping situation, with Keir Burt the only goalkeeper on the books at the moment after the departure of David Hutton and PJ Morrison’s loan ending.

He said: “I’ve got a goalkeeper earmarked to come in but his club are waiting to get their number one in. As soon as they get their number one in the goalkeeper will be in.

“It’s not ideal but that’s how it works when you’re getting loans in. There’s two or three options but the number one choice is ready to go as soon as they get their number one in.”

“If they don’t get their number one in I’m going in,” Rice joked. “No, if that doesn’t happen there’s another two or three options but I’ve made a commitment to the club for the lad I wanted and I’ve just got to be patient now.”

The Wasps hosted Stirling Albion last night after Advertiser Sport went to print. Three more friendlies await before the season begins with the visit of East Fife in the Premier Sports Cup on July 12. For now, fitness is paramount.

Rice said: “We’ll start [adding] a little more tactical stuff. I’ve got to get the boys out there working hard first and foremost because we only train two nights a week – and it’s only one at the minute because we’ve got games – so it’s all about getting the fitness levels right so we’re ready to go when it kicks off.”