Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers

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Highlights

A point against league leaders Raith Rovers cannot be viewed as a bad result but as much as “The Wasps” continued their unbeaten league record at home which now goes back to 25th November, 2017, it was a match which lacked many shots by either team on goal. Alloa Athletic played some very good football in patches, defensively they were great and the new loan signings look to have settled well into the team making them ready for the second half of the season.

Ross Stewart had an early chance heading across the goal, Kris Renton was busy looking to knock on chances to Jordan Kirkpatrick, whose manager ex Alloa manager Jack Ross was watching from the stand on Ross & Jordan’s performances.

In the second half Raith Rovers keeper Aaron Lennox was to drop a Kris Renton header but Iain Davidson, who was excellent in centre of Raith defence cleared under pressure from Ross Stewart. A measure of how well the Alloa defence had played was the fact Raith Rovers manager Barry Smith took off both Liam Buchanan & Greig Spence in the second half bringing on Herron and Court to look for that important winning goal.

But the final chance came to “The Wasps”, however Kevin Cawley couldn’t get on the end of a cross to the back post which he headed over the bar. Both teams will look back thinking it was a fair draw but it was another game where the first goal would have been so crucial.


 


jim goodwin after the draw with raith

We go into every game looking to win them, but I am well aware of how good a side Raith Rovers are, I thought we defended really well all day, with the likes of Spence, Buchanan and Vaughan they have 30 odd league goals between them, so we did make a point of marshalling them properly then we would give ourselves an opportunity. Defensively, I thought we were excellent, as a group from big Kris Renton right back through the team – Neil Parry made a good save in the first half with a header but going forward I thought we just lacked a wee bit of creativity things were just not quite coming off, picking the wrong pass at the wrong time, decision making and sharpness at that area of the pitch wasn’t quite there, but at the same time we still had plenty of positives. We had Jordan Kirkpatrick who had their keeper making a great save in the first half, wee Kevin Cawley had a good chance, probably comes to him a little too quick for him at the end of the match with a header just to nick it but overall I think the draw was probably fair – I don’t remember Neil Parry or Aaron Lennox in their goal having too many saves to make, so a draw over the match was probably a fair result but we are never happy with a draw.

The main thing was the fact we nullified their attack, it is hard to remember any clear cut chance they had, we know Greig Spence very well and we know the quality he possesses in the box, he is that type of boy who doesn’t look interested in the game and all of a sudden he comes alive in the box – so I thought Jamie McCart and Andy Graham were excellent against Buchanan & Spence today and Lewis Vaughan is a big player for them as well. Our back four were brilliant, Garry Fleming and Stevie Hetherington in the middle of the park, “Gaz” in particular was excellent he covered every blade of grass out there and made some important tackles in and around the box and stopped some really good counter attacks. If we could take the positives from the defensive side of our performances and in the coming weeks sharpen up a little bit at the top end we will be absolutely fine.

The gap between ourselves and Raith Rovers and Ayr United at the moment is quite big and we would probably need these two to have a total collapse but we certainly will never throw the towel in, we have a couple of games in hand and we know if we win them, albeit not easy games against Airdrie and Arbroath, it will push us in the right area, we have to keep going and focus on our own job in hand and not concentrate on the table too much at this time, Stranraer are currently on a great run and they seem to be able to find the correct results at the moment but we know it will go right till the wire, we were in this position last year we know nothing is decided in January, we will focus on what we are doing and concentrate on the high standards we have set.