ALLOA recorded three league wins in a row on Saturday as Bradley Rodden’s late winner moved the Wasps to third.

After an uneventful opening 45 minutes the game was kicked into life by George Stanger’s header. Blair Lyons would score an acrobatic overhead kick to level the score for Montrose before Rodden came off the bench once again to score and seal the three points.

Brian Rice made some changes to the team that defeated Clyde in the last match before the break last weekend. Stefan Scougall, David Devine and Kieran Offord all came into the starting line-up in place of Daniel Church, Andy Graham and Rodden.

Kevin Cawley started at right wing-back, Cammy O’Donnell – fresh from signing a contract extension – was on the opposite flank.

Scott Taggart sported the captain’s armband in the absence of Graham and Mark Durnan and played in a back three alongside Stanger and David Devine.

In truth the first half was an uninspiring display of football.

Alloa’s first real chance came from a long range free-kick by O’Donnell but it went wide of the post.

O’Donnell’s set-piece delivery is certainly one of his strongest attributes and he whipped in a couple of dangerous balls but nobody could get on the end of them.

For one of the smaller attackers in the team Offord was causing Montrose’s defenders issues. Consistently picking the ball up deep, he was always willing to run towards goal and try to force something to happen.

The half-time interval gave both teams a chance to regroup and it took just five minutes for the first effort. Taggart’s long free-kick was knocked into Cawley’s path by Conor Sammon and Cawley’s half volley forced Ross Sinclair into a save.

An interesting battle throughout the match was between Sammon and Sean Dillon. The two were constantly at each other and Sammon, chasing down Ross MacIver’s long ball, won a foul after Dillon was judged to have wrestled him to the ground.

O’Donnell would be the one to deliver it and this time someone was on the end of it. The delivery was hit with so much pace whoever touched it only had to direct it towards goal. Stanger’s deft flick bounced off the post and gave Alloa the lead.

Rodden was introduced around 15 minutes into the second half and his first involvement was a contentious one. Running on to Taggart’s lofted through ball Rodden was caught under Matty Allan in the box. Both players fell to the ground but somehow referee Alan Muir gave the free-kick to the visitors.

Montrose’s equaliser came courtesy of a great finish but Alloa’s defending could have been better. Devine misjudged Lewis Milne’s cross and the ball bounced behind Lyons who was able to turn and superbly lifted the ball over Jay Hogarth with an overhead kick.

Alloa didn’t take long to respond. Devine was strong in the air and won his dual before the ball fell into the path of Adam King. His long ball set Rodden on his way and the super sub’s pace took him away from his man. He headed the ball into the box before a clever finish into the far corner left Sinclair with no chance.

Alloa would have another great chance to finish the game off but couldn’t take it. Poor play by Montrose allowed Alloa to steal the ball and Rodden played MacIver through on goal. His first touch was a little too heavy and it gave the goalkeeper time to race out and close the angle. MacIver tried to chip him but Sinclair was big and blocked the shot.

The miss almost proved costly and on another day it surely would have. Deep into injury time Montrose had their final chance. Paul Watson flicked a header into Michael Gardyne and he was able to turn and play a clever pass back into Watson. He finished first time but – six yards from goal – he sidefooted his effort wide.

With the referee’s whistle Alloa recorded three league wins in a row for the first time under Rice. The result lifts the Wasps into third place and just three points from the top.

Rice has always said he wants goals, he wants wins and he wants to be entertained. Ending the match with MacIver, Rodden, Luke Donnelly and Steven Buchanan on the pitch showed he’s a man of his word. If there’s a hope of winning the match, that’s always going to be Alloa’s main priority.

Next up for the Wasps is the visit of Airdrieonians in Friday night’s Scottish Challenge Cup and Rice said post-match that there are players who need game time.

Whoever comes in will know the momentum the team is building and will be doing their best to make sure that continues.

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