ALLOA ATHLETIC made it two league defeats on the bounce for the first time since August with a 2-0 loss to Queen of the South.

Andy Graham made three changes for the visit of the league strugglers, with Ally Roy making his first league start since Edinburgh City in November.

Jon Robertson replaced Cammy O’Donnell at left back, while Steven Buchanan slotted in on right wing ahead of the injured Taylor Steven.

Alloa started very strongly against Marvin Bartley’s side, Buchanan hitting off the post and Stefan Scougall having his effort saved from range.

Queens took their opportunity to break, however, with former Wasp Lee Connolly’s pass cutting through Alloa’s backline to reach Joel Mumbongo.

The Queens striker looked a tough offside, which the Alloa players argued for, but the flag stayed down and his cool effort slips past PJ Morrison to reach the bottom corner.

Alloa came out the break much sharper and looked to really test Harry Stone’s goal. A game changing moment occurred when Steven Buchanan broke through from a brilliant pass from Kurtis Roberts.

Looking clear on goal, he was brought down by Max Kilsby, who was lucky to escape without any punishment, the referee simply waiving play on.

Ally Roy looked to take his chance in the team, having been afforded a start in the absence of Bobby Wales, who was away on international duty with the Scotland U19s.

Two great chances came agonisingly close to falling his way – the first coming from Buchanan who drilled it low across the box, forcing a full stretched save from Stone, with Roy mere inches away from a tap in.

The second chance was a well-aimed cross from Roberts, Roy leapt for it but was held off by the Queens defender, with the striker cutting a frustrated figure.

Ethan Sutherland had Alloa’s strongest chance of the afternoon as he surged past Cammy Logan in the box and fired one towards goal, Harry Stone pulling out a fantastic save to deny Alloa a surefire equaliser.

Queen of the South put the game to bed as Craig McGuffie caught onto the end of a slack Alloa clearance, his superb strike reaching the bottom corner to double their lead and seal three points for the visitors.

Speaking to Advertiser Sport, Graham said: “It wasn’t the result or the performance that we were looking for.

“Credit Queens, after they settled and got the early goal, goals change games and we have a great opportunity to go and take the lead then they go up the other end.

“From our point of view, it’s a poor goal to lose and I think they took a lot of heart from that and they played some good stuff.

“Second half, we came out very well. In the first 10, 15 minutes of the second half, if we could have got that equaliser, we could’ve been in a really good position to go in and win the game.

“We didn’t get it and it got a little bit frantic towards the end – slashing at things and that’s why we lose the goal.

“It’s a poor clearance from ourselves and it’s a great strike from McGuffie for him to make it two.

“I’m disappointed but at the same time, I said it all the way through the run when we were winning games in a row – I’m never going to get too high with that and likewise I’m not going to get too low when we lose two games of football.

“It’s about coming back in on Tuesday night and Thursday night and working towards the game on Saturday and trying to get three points.”

Alloa’s attacking line was rotated for this game, with just Ethan Sutherland retaining his starting position since Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat by Kelty Hearts.

Ally Roy and Steven Buchanan came in to fill the last two spots, with the latter having a bright outing on the right wing, earning himself the Man of the Match award.

Roy continued to get himself into solid positions but was held off well by the Queens defence, denied two clear tap ins in the second half.

While it may be easy for some to look at rotation to blame for the result, Graham insisted that was not to be the case and doubled down on the squad he had.

He continued: “We’ve got a good squad and I’m happy with the squad we’ve got, I’m not bemoaning people being injured or not being here.

“We’re all in this together and I can’t fault their work rate or their effort; I can fault their quality today because I know they’re better than that.

“Likewise, we need everybody to get behind us and hopefully produce a performance next week that gets us three points and back on track.”

A concern for Alloa ahead of Saturday was the absence of Taylor Steven; the St Johnstone loanee being in such a rich vein of form that it sparked worry when he wasn’t on the team sheet.

Graham confirmed he had pulled up with a slight calf issue, but it was one he was hoping shouldn’t be too serious.

“We’re hoping it’s nothing serious,” Graham added. “He picked up a little knock on Tuesday on his calf but we’re hopeful that it’s nothing serious.

“It’s about us getting together as a group and building towards next Saturday. It’s a massive three points for us hopefully.

“We’re back here again which is great and I hope the home support get behind us next Saturday, that’s so important.”