RUTHLESS. There are plenty of words that could be used to sum up Alloa’s performance but ruthless fits their display best.

From the first minute, when Conor Sammon fired his side in front, to 17-year-old Luke Rankin’s first professional goal in the dying minutes, Alloa were relentless.

After two defeats in their last two matches, it was important for Alloa to get back to winning ways. A slight change to the line-up from the defeat to Airdrie saw Cammy O’Donnell and Bradley Rodden replace Murray Miller and Adam King. Mark Durnan was due to start but a hamstring injury in the warm-up forced him out. Andy Graham stepped in to replace him.

Brian Rice’s side got off to a dream start. Rodden intercepted a slack pass and immediately played through Sammon who was already sprinting away from his man. The striker, who is in red-hot form at the moment, took one touch before opening his body up and sidefooting the ball calmy past Jack Newman. Less than a minute on the clock and the Wasps were in front.

Alloa looked sharp from the start and were creating chances. Rodden met Ross MacIver’s cross but could only head over the bar and Graham was inches away from getting a toe to Kevin Cawley’s cross.

It wouldn’t take long for Alloa to double their tally. O’Donnell delivered a fantastic in swinging corner that was heading for the far post. George Stanger was too strong for his marker and was able to head the ball into the back of the net.

More chances would fall Alloa’s way before they added a third 10 minutes before the break. O’Donnell picked up the ball on the edge of his box as Peterhead looked for a response. He found MacIver who passed to Cawley. The veteran found MacIver, who had continued his run, and he only needed one touch before slotting the ball between the Blue Toon’s left back and centre back into the path of Rodden. Despite the best efforts of Paul Dixon, Rodden was able to hold the defender off and poke the ball past Newman to put the Wasps three goals in front.

It took Sammon less than a minute in the first half to score and it took him around five minutes after the restart to double his tally.

Jon Robertson chipped a ball forward and MacIver, like he had been doing all day, beat his man and attempted to head it into Sammon’s path. His effort was intercepted by Robbie Scullion but MacIver was able to prod the ball back towards goal and the ball bounced perfectly for Sammon to smash a volley past Newman.

Despite being four goals to the good, Alloa didn’t let up. O’Donnell continued to torment Peterhead players with his tricks and turn of pace. First he delivered a brilliant cross for Rodden but he could only head the ball at Newman and the goalkeeper made a great save.

O’Donnell would try again with a clever cutback for Cawley but his effort was blocked.

Sammon then head a great opportunity to seal his second hat-trick of the season. Daniel Church picked up the ball near the halfway line and drove towards the byline. Skipping past his man he delivered a brilliant cross and Sammon jumped highest to head towards goal. Newman had no chance but thankfully for him Sammon’s effort hit the crossbar.

With the game dying out Alloa had plenty of chances to extend their lead. O’Donnell smashed a shot wide of the post, Graham saw his header eventually collected by Newman and MacIver headed straight into the keeper’s hands.

Peterhead would have one golden opportunity to reduce the deficit but couldn’t make the most of it. Dixon’s driving run gave him space to deliver a cross and Chris Kisuka controlled the ball awkwardly before finding himself one vs one with Jay Hogarth but the striker could only prod the ball past the post.

The game would in fairytale fashion. Luke Rankin had scored a 45 minute hat-trick for the U20s team on Friday night and was introduced in the dying minutes. He laid the ball off to MacIver who fired a shot from distance at goal. Newman could only palm the ball into his own box and Rankin reacted quicker than anyone to smash the ball high into the net.

After the match Rice said: “I’m delighted with everyone but it’s a special, special day for that young lad.”

A thoroughly enjoyable day at the office for all associated with Alloa, this was them at their scintillating best under Rice. A range of scorers, multiple exceptional performances and an unforgettable moment for a product of their academy, Saturdays don’t get much better.

Clyde are up next and Alloa will be looking to take all the positives from Saturday into that match and make it two league wins in a row for the first time this season.

ALLOA: Hogarth, Taggart, Cawley (King), O’Donnell (Khyyam), Church, MacIver, Robertson (Miller), Graham, Sammon (Rankin), Rodden (Buchanan), Stanger. UNUSED: Muir, McLaren