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    Rollercoaster of emotions 

    Sunday, May 04, 2014 3:43:40 PM

    Alloa Athletic secured their place in the SPFL Championship next season despite losing 3-1 to local rivals Falkirk on a dramatic final day of the season. It was a terrific atmosphere inside the Falkirk stadium as the hosts were in the title hunt while the Wasps were trying desperately to avoid the relegation playoff place at the foot of the table. The Bairns started the better and Scott Bain had to be at his best to pull out a terrific save to deny Beck's bullet header from an early corner. The home side's early pressure paid off on 23 minutes when Mark Millar found Beck free at the front post who bulleted his side in front with the header. The Wasps weren't down for long though as they caught their rivals cold on the break as they pushed for a second. A brilliant solo run from Ryan McCord saw him glide past four defenders before cutting the ball back to Kevin Cawley who poked the ball home to bring his side level. Some heroic defending from Barry Smith's men ensured that they went in level at the interval when Ben Gordon got the ball off the line as Blair Alston poked the ball beyond Bain towards goal. Alloa passed up an unbelievable chance to take the lead on 51 minutes when Liam Caddis did brilliantly to get beyond two defenders and round the advancing Bairns keeper Michael McGovern but the on-loan St Johnstone midfielder could only put the shot into the side netting. The Wasps paid the price for not taking their chances as Gary Holt's men hit them on the break to take the lead. Bairns substitute Sheppard did well to get to the byline and squared to find the onrushing Sibbald who forced the ball home from six yards. Alloa could have levelled when Graeme Holmes chipped pass was headed back by Ross Caldwell into the path of substitute Andy Kirk but the striker's goal-bound volley was tipped over by McGovern. Falkirk clinched all three points on 90 minutes when Beck nodded home from close range to make it 3-1 at full time after great work from Alston to set up the chance. Despair soon turned to joy for the travelling support though as word came through that Queen of the South had scored a late leveller at Cowdenbeath meaning Alloa had survived the playoffs at the last moment to clinch their place in the Championship for another season. Jubilant scenes ensued as the players re-emerged from the dressing room to celebrate with the Wasps' faithful.

    Graeme Lafferty, Alloa Advertiser

    Ross Caldwell leads the attack at Falkirk
    Ross Caldwell flashes header in Falkirk box
    Graeme Holmes faces wall of Falkirk defenders
    Kevin Cawley knocks home Ryan McCord pass in box
    Kevin Cawley top goalscorer for past two seasons
    Liam Caddis takes ball round Falkirk goalkeeper
    But then watches his shot hit side netting!
    Another chance for "The Wasps"
    Another chance cleared off the line
     



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