ALLOA ended 2022 in a League One play-off position after their draw with Kelty Hearts on Saturday.

One of two New Year's Eve fixtures in the league, the Wasps shared the points with the Fife side as neither team hit the net.

Brian Rice made three changes to the side that drew 2-2 with Clyde in the previous fixture. Andy Graham, Stefan Scougall and Cameron O'Donnell started ahead of Adam King, Murray Miller and Conor Sammon.

Kieran Offord, who scored in that draw with Clyde, kept his place and lead the line.

It would be Offord who had the match's first sniff at goal with barely three minutes on the clock. A sliced clearance meant the ball fell into the youngster's path and he darted in between the Kelty defence but he couldn't find the space to get a shot away and Jordon Forster was able to clear the danger.

The visitors' first effort came from Alfredo Agyeman who blasted a volley from near the corner flag towards goal. Whether it was an attempted cross or shot is up for debate but still it needed a touch from Jay Hogarth.

Offord showed his ability with a clever turn as he once again caused Kelty problems. Receiving the ball with his back to goal, he easily turned away from Thomas O'Ware before skipping over the tackle of Lewis Martin. However, he couldn't beat a third man as his attempt to cut back onto his right foot was stopped by Michael Tidser.

Kelty's best chance then came from a piece of quality by Jamie Barjonas. His clever through ball found the run of Nathan Austin who had lost Graham but Hogarth was off his line quickly and closed the angle.

Alloa had a wonderful opportunity to open the scoring on the stroke of half-time. Forster misjudged the bounce of the ball and Offord headed into Ross MacIver's path. Driving towards goal, the forward's left footed shot unfortunately went high over the bar.

In a second half of few chances for either side, Kelty hit the post with a shot from distance by Joe Cardle and Tidser's long range effort went just past the post. Alloa found themselves in good positions but the goal just wasn't to come for either side.

Conor Sammon, Luke Rankin and Steven Buchanan were all introduced in the second half as the Wasps tried to get their goal. While Sammon enjoyed the physical battle with Forster and the two youngsters offered energy, the goal didn't come and the teams settled for a draw.

Speaking after the match, the Alloa manager said: "I thought it was a pretty even game, a draw's probably a fair result. There wasn't a lot of chances in the game, we sort of cancelled each other out. It's another point but we want to get three points and we tried everything

we could to try and go and get the goal but it just wasn't there for us. I think it was a fair result."

Captain Andy Graham agreed with his manager and said: "I don't think either team did enough to warrant three points, I don't think anyone could claim they were much the better team. There wasn't a lot of chances in the game.

"Not many chances, not a great spectacle but we'll take the clean sheet and move on. It's another point gained, that's the way to look at it."

Reflecting on the positives to take from the performance, Rice continued: "We got a clean sheet, we've had our problems defensively through different reasons and we got a clean sheet so that's a big positive.

"We ended the game with quite a few youngsters on the pitch, young Luke Rankin, [Steven] Buchanan, the goalkeeper [Jay Hogarth] is only 19, [Murray] Miller's young so quite a few young players still on the pitch. [George] Stanger's not that old either. It's good to get the kids a bit of game time but we need to still go and try to win the game."

The result meant Alloa brought in the bells fourth in the league. At this point last season the Wasps had picked up 20 points. This season they're currently on 29 and Saturday's draw was also their fifth clean sheet.

Next up is a trip to face Queen of the South, who also played on New Year's Eve and defeated Clyde 1-0, this Saturday, January 7. They're currently three points behind the Wasps and the last time the two sides met in the league saw a second half demolition job by Rice's men as they ran out 5-1 winners.

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