ALLOA were held at home by Annan Athletic, with the points shared in an end to end battle at the Recs.

The Wasps were looking to bounce back from back to back defeats against Kelty Hearts and Queen of the South, whereas the Galabankies were carrying momentum in their fight to avoid the relegation playoffs.

The Alloa lineup will have stirred some excitement in the stands, as star striker Bobby Wales returned from his time away with the Scotland U19s.

Also making the starting XI were Taylor Steven and Morgyn Neill who initially were doubts after the former missed last week’s game with a slight knock, whereas Neill was forced off in the first half against QOTS.

Miko Virtanen and Cammy O’Donnell also made starts in midfield and left back respectively.

Alloa came out the traps looking to put a stamp on things early, but had to contend with early pressure from the visitors.

The defence held up well to keep Annan quiet during the first half, whereas up top Wales and Steven settled right back into the squad as if they had never been away.

The two young forwards linked up well throughout, causing problems for Annan’s backline and maintaining Alloa’s press.

The hosts came agonisingly close to an opener as Wales crossed the ball in towards Ethan Sutherland, with the St Mirren loanee’s shot saved well by Annan’s Greg Fleming.

They didn’t wait much longer to open scoring, with Steven’s free kick ricocheting off of the cross bar and into the path of Wales who taps it in to give Alloa the lead.

Despite dominating the first half, Alloa would go into the break with scoring even as Annan scored the rebound from a corner kick to send things level at half time.

“It was a frustrating day, a frustrating result,” Andy Graham said. “It wasn’t the one we were looking for, we wanted to win the game.

“I thought in the first half, we have a couple decent chances then we get into a couple good areas by stealing the ball high up off Annan and got into a good few opportunities.

“We get into the lead which is great but I’m disappointed to lose the goal from a set play – they’re good and they work on them well and fair play to Annan, they’ve got their equaliser.”

Annan came out the break looking to add to their goal tally and for the first chunk of the second half were better than Alloa.

The Wasps settled back into the match and regained control and looked sure to take three points from Annan, hitting the Galabankies with a barrage of attacks as the second half started to round off.

Glorious chances fell Alloa’s way but Greg Fleming made superb saves to keep the Wasps out – David Devine had a header saved, Wales’ rebound was blocked and Virtanen’s effort was sent straight towards the keeper.

Alloa’s last chance came from another Wales cross, Steven Buchanan heading towards goal but it came deflected off the touchline from the Annan man, Sammon tried to poke in the rebound but it was cleared before he could get the chance.

In the end, the points were shared between the sides, with Alloa remaining third ahead of the Stirling Albion derby this weekend.

Graham added: “The start of the second half, they came out a bit better than us – first 15, 20 minutes while we did create a lot of chances, I thought they were the better team.

“Last 20 minutes, we were really good and when you create that many chances, you’re really disappointed not to win the game.

“There’s a lot of clear cut ones in there that you’re disappointed you don’t take but I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating those chances.

“We created four or five that on another day, you’re thinking ‘ that’s a goal’ but I’d be more worried if we weren’t creating them so it’s about moving onto next week and taking the positives from the last 20 minutes.

“[in the last 20 minutes] We were a bit more patient with the ball, we started keeping it a bit better and as a result we created chances, gaps opened up.

“It wasn’t our day in front of goal, we had a couple cleared off the line but sometimes it doesn’t go for you.

“It’s a point but it could prove a valuable point by the end of the season.”