ALLOA enjoyed a fairly comfortable outing against Kelty Hearts, slotting three goals past the visitors.

Andy Graham made two changes from last weeks’ defeat to Montrose, with Quinn Coulson coming back into the squad to start on the left wing as Ethan Sutherland dropped into left back replacing Cammy O’Donnell.

Luke Donnelly made his first start since the SPFL Trust Trophy exit to Rangers B in September, replacing the suspended Kevin Cawley in attacking midfield.

Lastly, just before kick off, the gaffer was forced into a change as PJ Morrison picked up a slight injury in the warm up, giving back-up keeper Phil Ogayi his first start since October.

From the off, Alloa enjoyed their fair share of possession and got their rewards as League 1 Player of the Month Taylor Steven scored his sixth goal in his last 10 matches.

The St Johnstone loanee continued his red hot form as he fired the Wasps in front shortly after 10 minutes.

Kelty endured for the rest of the half but were themselves restricted to a few tame efforts by the Wasps defence, with Ogayi having very little to do on his return to the team.

Kelty’s Kyle Gourlay made some impressive first half saves to deny Alloa’s attacking force, tipping a header from Stefan Scougall over the bar and stopping Bobby Wales on two occasions.

After the break, Kelty thought they had found a way back into the match as Stefan McCluskey puts the ball in the back of the net, but with his hand. The referee wasted no time in ruling the goal out.

Following that, the Wasps assumed total control, stretching their advantage to a two-goal lead as Kurtis Roberts got on the end of a well aimed ball in from Steven to tap in Alloa’s second.

Alloa continued to cause issues for Gourlay, as Conor Sammon found himself one on one with keeper but had his shot well saved.

The final nail in the coffin for Kelty came as Botti Biabi pulled Scott Taggart to the ground ahead of a corner, gifting Alloa a penalty which the captain dispatched, albeit after a retake.

“I’m really pleased,” Graham told Advertiser Sport. “It was convincing because of the way we played and how hard we worked.

“Kelty were always in the game. At 1-0, you know that it only takes one break of the ball in the box, one bit of quality from them, when they’ve got quality players in their team – Alfie Bavidge was a real threat for us all afternoon.

“It could’ve taken a moment of quality from him and the game would’ve been level but I thought we played really well overall.

“I thought it was one of our better performances and we deserved the goals in the end, it merited the play we had and we worked their goalkeeper a lot.

“We spoke at half time about being a bit more ruthless when we get the opportunities but I’m delighted for the team to keep the clean sheet.

“It’s something that we’ve not got enough of since I came in and it’s not just the back four, it’s not just the goalkeeper, it’s everyone working so hard that when we give the ball away, the first thing you do is get it back.

“I thought that really epitomised the performance.”

Taylor Steven picked up a goal and assist against Kelty on Saturday, continuing his rich run of form which has seen pick up the League 1 Player of the Month award.

The St Johnstone loanee is playing with such confidence at the moment and is such a threat down the right wing.

Graham added: “He’s playing with a lot of confidence and certainly no fear, when he gets the ball, he’s going at people.

“We spoke about mixing his game up and now he’s scored with his right foot today, that’ll be a collector’s item for sure.

“He’s done really well but as have they all – the rest of them are making space for him, Bobby [Wales] is working really hard up front, Quinn [Coulson] came in today and worked really hard on the left hand side.

“It is a team effort and everyone plays their part in it, I’m delighted for Taylor to get another goal and continue his run of form.”

A big part of Andy Graham’s time as manager is players seizing their opportunities when they get them.

In the past, Taylor Steven has come in for Steven Buchanan after the latter got injured, and has now nailed that position down as his own.

With Ogayi and Donnelly given their chances against Kelty, both will be hoping to use this as a platform to get a foothold in the starting XI.

Graham continued: “When one player is out, it’s another player’s opportunity and that’s happened today.

“Cammy failed a fitness test unfortunately, so Ethan Sutherland came in at left back and had a really good game there.

“Quinn Coulson’s worked really hard and done well, Luke Donnelly – great to get him his first start in a long time.

“We all know the quality that LD has got and it’s good to see him back out there showcasing that talent today.

“We’ve got a really good squad – when a player isn’t fit or available, I’m confident because we’ve got someone coming in who is going to give an equal amount of quality and hard work.”

Next up for Alloa is a trip to the capital to take on Edinburgh City, who lie adrift at the bottom of the table on just five points.