HOW do you possibly summarise a match that featured seven goals, a red card and a penalty miss?

In fact, how do you summarise a match where the team who were 3-0 up inside 17 minutes end up losing the game 4-3?

As has been said before, and will be said time and time again, it's never dull watching Brian Rice's Alloa.

Injuries and work commitments – Kevin Cawley started his new job recently – meant a few changes to Alloa's starting line-up and a smaller bench than usual.

Willie Muir kept his place in goal behind a back four of Scott Taggart, Craig Howie, Andy Graham and Cammy O'Donnell.

In front of them was a midfield three of Murray Miller, Jon Robertson and Stefan Scougall with Luke Donnelly and Ross MacIver playing off of Conor Sammon.

The match could hardly have started any better for Alloa. What O'Donnell maybe lacks in defensive expertise when deployed at the back, he more than makes up for with his attacking contribution. His first cross was blocked for a corner which he delivered. As per usual, his delivery was wicked. A pacy, curling corner was flicked on by MacIver and the effort came off an FC Edinburgh body to go past Robbie Mutch. One hundred and 70 seconds on the clock and Alloa were a goal up.

If that was a dream start, it was about to get better. Barely seven minutes had been played when Alloa doubled their lead.

Once again O'Donnell's cross was blocked. Once again O'Donnell delivered a brilliant corner. Once again a goal was scored. O'Donnell's ball to the back post was headed back across goal by Graham and Donnelly jumped highest to head it in off the crossbar.

Two goals to the good inside 10 minutes. Things couldn't really get any better for Alloa.

Except it did.

Granted, spectators were made to wait around 10 minutes between the second and third goal but who was counting? Not a carbon copy of the first two, but close enough. Miller and Taggart combined well on the right and Taggart's cross was blocked. O'Donnell stepped up for the corner and Graham was there to head it just between the post and a diving Mutch.

More chances would come. MacIver had a good effort saved, O'Donnell's glancing header didn't trouble Mutch and Donnelly met a great cross but could only head over the bar.

Just the previous week Rice had spoken about the impact a goal before half-time can have. Earlier this season a goal right before the interval derailed Alloa's momentum against

Dunfermline. Last weekend an Alloa equaliser just before the break set them on their way to a 5-1 thrashing of Queen of the South.

On Saturday it was Ryan Shanley who scored that goal. A lovely long ball over the top by Callum Crane found Shanley's run and it appeared Alloa thought he was offside as nobody seemed to react until it was too late. Shanley had time to pick his spot and fire past Muir, who had barely touched the ball.

With the referee's whistle signalling half-time it would be safe to assume Rice's team talk would have focused on regaining control of the match. That didn't happen. Former Wasp Innes Murray ran in behind and he flashed a ball across goal that nobody met.

That was a warning shot. The next one wasn't. James Craigen's cross was met by Shanley who held off Miller and fired into the net.

Barely a minute later Alloa won a penalty. Scougall ran onto Sammon's flick on and was brought down. After a quick debate between the officials they confirmed it was a penalty, not a free-kick, and Scougall was taking it. He went right, the keeper did too and the effort was saved.

Two goals either side of the break, combined with the penalty miss, gave all momentum to the hosts and they were given another boost minutes later.

For all of O'Donnell's brilliance in the first half, a reckless challenge put FC Edinburgh in the driver's seat. After doing well to win the ball, a loose touch followed and O'Donnell dived in with two feet to try and recover it. "Red mist, red card," as Rice described it afterwards. Alloa would play more than 35 minutes with 10 men.

Four minutes later the score was level. A good run by Murray gave him the space to find Danny Handling and his long range effort went over Muir who barely moved.

Inevitably, FC Edinburgh eventually took the lead. A good cross by Craigen was met by Handling and he headed back to Shanley who smashed a terrific volley past Muir.

Alloa tried to salvage a draw but the damage was done. A terrific comeback by FC Edinburgh or a total collapse by Alloa? Either way, it was certainly an afternoon to forget.

ALLOA: Muir, Taggart, Graham, Howie, O'Donnell, Miller (King), Robertson, Scougall, Donnelly (McLaren), MacIver, Sammon (Rankin). Unused: Hogarth, Rodden, Buchanan