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    Allan Maitland previews East Fife game 

    Friday, August 13, 2010 2:57:45 AM

    I’d like to offer a warm welcome to all Alloa supporters for our first home game of the season and thank them for the tremendous support we’ve received over the last three weeks at Dundee, East Stirling and Livingston. It’s been a very difficult start to the season and our victory at East Stirling and hard earned point at Livingston last Saturday have given us a decent return.
    Today, with the visit of East Fife I expect another extremely difficult match. In our games against them last season they played some great football but lacked a cutting edge – with the signings of Steven Hyslop and Kurtis Byrne they have been scoring freely in their opening games. These signings appear to have allowed Bobby Linn the freedom to attack from the midfield and he is showing the form that we all know he is capable of. Stevie Crawford will be keen for his side to be challenging at the top end of the table this season and their squad shows real improvement on last year.
    Our point at Livingston last Saturday was more down to guts and determination rather than a polished footballing performance. In the first half I felt we were second to most balls and looked exposed by a very energetic and talented front three of Iain Russell, Robbie Winters and Bobby Barr, in fact the game could have been finished by half time. The introduction of Andy Scott and in particular Jim Lister allowed us to adopt a more direct style of football that paid dividends with Darren Smith and Bryan Prunty scoring to get us back on level terms. Unfortunately we then gifted our hosts a third goal when Declan inadvertently scored an og. The players didn’t allow this to deflate them and showed great spirit and determination to get another equaliser in the final minutes when our third substitute David Gormley did tremendously well to reach another Jim Lister knock down before being brought down for a penalty. Andy Scott appeared to be the calmest person in the ground when he scored the penalty after a long delay when their player was stretchered off. There was still time at the end for Declan to redeem himself when he cleared off the line after another dangerous Livingston move. There is no doubt that last week was a point gained rather than two points lost when you consider the half time position and our overall performance. We know we need to improve if we hope to challenge again this season but I have great faith in this squad of players to succeed.
    Today will be the first opportunity for our fans to see our summer signings in competitive action at the Recs. During the summer we signed Stevie Robertson, Jamie Ewings, Declan McAvoy, Billy Gibson, Mick Dunlop, Darren Smith, Kevin McDonald and Jim Lister and it will take time for these players to gel but I know you will give them time and patience to settle in at Alloa.
    Wardy, Ronnie, Hilly, Jim Law and I hope we can use the experience and disappointment of last season to our advantage and learn from our mistakes to make the team and club successful.
    I hope you all enjoy today’s game.

    Allan Maitland
    Team Manager

    Managers Corner