Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers

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“The Wasps” went so close to the perfect start in the opening Ladbrokes League 1 fixture against Raith Rovers on saturday at the Indodrill Stadium. Jim Goodwin’s side started the game very positively and took the game to one of the favourites for promotion this season, Raith Rovers, who included ex Alloa Athletic strikers Greig Spence and Liam Buchanan. Alloa manager included Callum Crane in his line up, signed on loan from Hibernian having only met his new team mates at 1.30 on day of the match.

The Wasps took the lead after 16 minutes when Scott Taggart set up the opening for Kevin Cawley who fired home his 46th goal for the club.

As the first half drew to a close Raith Rovers came close to an equaliser, Neil Parry saved from Lewis Vaughan before Greig Spence stuck the post. Craig Malcolm was leading the line well for “The Wasps” making his home league debut after beinh injuried at Dingwall in opening Betfred Cup game of the season, indeed he came close to increasing “The Wasps” lead with header which just crept past the post.

The Kirkcaldy side started to dominate possession but had few clear chances on goal. Indeed Kevin Cawley had a great chance to seal the victory for the home side with only two minutes remaining, after breaking through into the box he was denied by Raith Rovers keeper Aaron Lennox at his near post, a save which was to prove crucial.

It was to be a cruel end to the game for the homeside, inside time added on, their keeper launched a long ball upfield which broke to the alert Lewis Vaughan to score his fifth goal of the season and grab a point for the visitors. It felt like a defeat losing such a late goal but on the balance of play in the second half, Raith Rovers never gave in and probably deserved a share of the points.


 


jim goodwin after raith score late

When you lose a goal as late on as that in a game, when you have defended as well as we did for the ninety minutes is disappointing, there were questions over the goal Buchanan has came back from an offside position, our left back goes to head the ball and Buchanan nudges him, Callum was caught under the ball and that is how he was out of position, that’s how Vaughan was able to pick the ball up. Sometimes these decisions go for you, today it has went against us – if we had got the free kick we would have seen the game out.

I must say I thought Raith Rovers were the better team in the second half and overall they probably deserved a draw in the end but it’s just frustrating from our point of view  losing a goal that late on. We had chances to make it 2-0, if Garry Fleming chance the ball had fell nicely, Kris Renton knocked the ball down to him and on another day Garry will do better with it, Craig Malcolm’s header just went past the post just before he came off, Kris Tenton went close to getting on end of Scott Taggart cross and Kevin’s chance near the end which their keeper did well to save, but in fairness to Raith Rovers in the last five minutes, I think the goal was scored 90m + 1m, they threw everything at us, getting balls in the box and unfortunately on this occasion we couldn’t see it out.

We know Raith Rovers are a good side, they are a full time team, so they will be up there, the expectation is for them and Ayr United to be up there but I would like to think we will give a good account of ourselves and get in the mix for competing, I thought today we gave a very good account of ourselves especially in the first half we played some great football in the opening 15 – 20 minutes and we could have went a couple in front early on and there are loads of positives we can take, some great individual performances, I thought my two centre halves were outstanding against two really prolific strikers in Buchanan & Spence who between them last season had nearly sixty goals, just disappointed in the manner of the goal and the timing of it, before the game many people would have said a point will be a good result but right now it feels a little like a defeat.

Callum Crane made his debut and did very well, we brought him in because I thought we were light in that position and I had been working hard to get that deal done throughout the pre season he has been with the Hibernian first team in their pre season but I thought he was outstanding today, he must have been up there for “Man of the Match” award, it is difficult for a young boy like that I brought him over to the ground last night to show him round the place so he had a familiarisation with the surroundings but he hadn’t meet any of the players till 1.30 today but I had no fear to throw him in I knew about the quality of him, I had seen him playing, great quality on the ball and defensively as well, I thought he did great, he’s one we are very pleased to have in.

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