TAYLOR STEVEN and Morgyn Neill shone as Alloa thumped Cove Rangers 4-1 to solidify their position in third of League One.

Cove visited the Recs on a dire run of form, their last league win having come against Edinburgh City back in December.

Meanwhile, Alloa went into today’s game on the back of three massive wins, looking to extend that to four over Paul Hartley’s side.

The Toonsers started the game very convincingly, with Morgyn Neill leading the back line with some pivotal blocks, including one goal line clearance to deny Cove early on.

Alloa survived a lot of first half pressure from Cove, but took their chance to break, with Taylor Steven embarking on a strong run before being brought down in the box by Mark Reynolds.

Wasps captain Scott Taggart made no mistake from the spot, giving Alloa an early lead against the run of play, leaving Cove feeling frustrated going into the break.

Cove’s woes continued into the second half, as a much more confident Alloa extended their lead through Bobby Wales, who caught onto a slack ball, drove forward and took the keeper on himself.

A header from Kyle Connell saw Cove claw a goal back, but Alloa refused to drop points, with Taylor Steven scoring a brace to put the game to bed.

Gaffer Andy Graham was delighted with his side’s determination and grit, particularly in their second half showing.

He said: “First half, I thought Cove were better than us, we weren’t as good as we could be.

“But again, that togetherness and belief that our players have at the moment saw one moment of quality from Taylor [Steven] to win the penalty and Taggart dispatched it really well so we go in 1-0.

“I told them at half time,  ‘We’ve not played well, but we’re 1-0 up and we know we can do better’ and in the second half we showed we can do better.

“We looked a real threat every time we went forward in the second half, Cove are a good side and they’ve got very good front players.

“The most pleasing thing for me was that when you go 2-0 up, just like we did against Montrose a few weeks ago, we lose a goal but the response this time was much better.

“We didn’t sit here and try and hold on to a 2-1, we wanted to go on and score more goals and I encourage that from them and I’m really delighted with the performance.”

Alloa capitalised on a huge chance against Annan on Tuesday to catapult themselves into third place for the first time this season.

Extending that today saw them go on a four game winning streak, their best run since 2019, with momentum making them the next best in form team at the moment behind Falkirk.

Graham continued: “We take things one game at a time and that’s how you get on these runs that we’ve been on.

“We take the plaudits when we get them, they deserve them when they get them because their work rate and enthusiasm has been there for everyone to see.

“Now, that’s transpiring to getting good results on a Saturday, it’s all about getting that going every week as long as we can.”

Some drama late on saw the Wasps reduced to 10 men, with Dave McKay seeing a dubious red card for a challenge on Oluwasegun Lawal.

The defender went in for the ball, supposedly clipping the Cove man with both sets of studs, which earned him an instant red from the referee.

It was too late for Cove to inflict any damage on 10 man Alloa, however, with the Wasps digging deep to deny the visitors as the match drew to a close.

With McKay suspended, and left back Cammy O’Donnell also being subbed after taking a hit to his foot, it will pose a headache for Graham in his team selection in the visit to Hamilton next week.

“I thought the red card was very harsh,” Graham continued. “We’ll look into appealing that as it did look very harsh from the side.

“Cammy going off with a knock to his foot, we’ll need to see, it usually takes 24 hours for these things to settle down.

“We’ve got a really good squad of players, I’m really happy with what I’ve got. We’ll go into next week and whoever plays has got an opportunity to keep their place in the team.

“That’s what we say every week, if you’ve got the jersey, keep hold of it.”

Alloa visit Hamilton Accies next week, who lost 3-2 to Falkirk tonight in a crucial title race clash between the sides.

ALLOA: Morrison, Taggart, McKay, Neill, O’Donnell (Sutherland 55’), Virtanen, Roberts, Scougall (Cawley 84’), Steven, Coulson (Sammon 55’), Wales (Buchanan 83’).