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    Wasps win 8 in a row 

    Tuesday, August 23, 2016 7:39:59 AM
    Red-hot Alloa Athletic set a new club record with a 2-1 win at home to East Fife maintained their 100 percent start to the season. It is the first time in the modern era that the club has won eight games in a row in one season after goals from Iain Flannigan and Greig Spence were enough to see off a dogged East Fife side. It was a bright start by the visitors, who enjoyed the majority of the early pressure. Good play Kevin Wilkie on the right to earn a free kick. Kevin Smith flighted in the set play and the ball fell kindly for Chris Kane to shoot, but Calum Waters was there to make a heroic diving block and the ball was scrambled to safety.

    The Wasps were not long in getting going themselves, however, and their first venture forward almost resulted in a spectacular opener. Jordan Kirkpatrick took control of a long ball before beating his man and laying the ball out wide for Scott Taggart to run onto, the cross picked out Greig Spence, but the audacious overhead kick was just over the cross bar with the keeper beaten. East Fife were enjoying the lion’s share of possession, but it was the hosts who looked the most threatening on the break. Taggart did well to burst out of defence and go flying down the right to pick out Kevin Cawley with the cutback, who in turned teed up Kirkpatrick for the shot, but the in-form midfielder could only drag the shot wide. Gary Naismith’s side had another decent spell, but struggled to make an impact in the final third against a sturdy Wasps defence.

    On 26 minutes, Kyle Wilkie did well on the right to beat his man then play in Scott Robinson, but he could only drag his shot into the side netting. Alloa almost took the lead approaching the half hour mark in the most bizarre fashion. Waters corner kick was headed off his own cross bar by Chris Kane, but luckily for the defender the ball bounced out and was scrambled to safety.
    Jack Ross’ side started to get a foothold in the game and soon seized the advantage on 36 minutes. Jim Goodwin latched onto a loose ball to have a strike on goal 25 yards out, but Kane was penalised by referee for a block with his hand. Iain Flannigan stepped up to take the free kick and curled the ball high over the wall and beyond the keeper into the top corner for 1-0.
    The home side continued their lethal recent run in front of goal by doubling their lead within four minutes. A short back pass to the keeper saw him clear the ball against Spence in a panic and the Wasps hitman simply ran through to slot the rebound into the empty net to give the Wasps a 2-0 half time lead.

    Alloa started the second half in the same manner and Cawley did well to evade two defenders and almost played in Kirkpatrick, but the pass was just too strong. East Fife were almost in on goal as Ross Brown tried to feed the ball into Robinson, but Goodwin got across to make a vital interception. Good play by Taggart on the right then earned his side a free kick in a decent area. Waters flighted the ball into box, Andy Graham got the knock, but the keeper made a brilliant double save to deny Cawley from close range. The Fifers ventured forward again soon after as gaffer Gary Naysmith did well to escape the attentions of Flannigan to whip in a dangerous cross, but there were no takers and the ball drifted harmlessly out for a goal kick.

    Alloa then enjoyed their best period of the second half where they dominated possession and knocked the ball about well. Flannigan, Goodwin and Holmes combined well to set up a shooting chance for Kirkpatrick, but this time the shot was over the bar. Some dreadful defending from the visitors then gifted Goodwin possession on 63 minutes, but his audacious attempted chip from 40 yards was just off target with the keeper scrambling. Moments later, the Wasps were in again. This time, great play by Flannigan saw Graeme Holmes in on the goalkeeper, but a brilliant save denied the Wasps a third goal. East Fife should have reduced the deficit when Kevin Smith latched onto a slip by Goodwin to shoot from the edge of the area, but this time the post came to Alloa’s rescue and Parry gratefully gathered the rebound. The game was now swinging from end to end and a brilliant quick counter attack from Alloa almost caught the visitors out. Flannigan started the break out and picked out Taggart on the right. The cross was flicked back into the path of Flannigan by Cawley, but the shot was straight at the keeper. Wilkie then did well on the left for East Fife to whip in a cross that substitute Kevin O’Hara met brilliantly, but Parry was there to save the day and deny him with a stunning save. The visitors, to their credit, kept on pushing forward and almost caught Alloa on the break on 80 minutes with the lively O’Hara threatening to burst in on goal, but Jason Marr was alert to get across and make a vital tackle.

    East Fife did get on the score sheet in the 90th minute of the game when O’Hara bundled the ball home after a skirmish off a Mark Lamont corner to set up a nervy finish for the hosts, but the Wasps held on well to record their eighth straight win in all competitions this season. The latest win means Jack Ross and his men have set a new club record for eight wins out of eight in a season in the modern era.

    Match Report - Graeme Lafferty



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