2 - 4Full Time
The Wasps reached their 2nd Quarter Final place of the season on Saturday when they defeated Welsh side Bala Town 4-2 at Maes Tegid in the 4th Round of the Irn Bru Cup. This was a historic ocassion for the club, playing a Welsh club for the first time in a competitive match. however it was a game of mixed emotions knowing that their manager, Jack Ross was to leave after the game to take up the managers role with SPFL Championship side St. Mirren on a full time basis.
Alloa were at their best in the first half, stroking the ball around the newly opened 3G surface at Maes Tegid, Greig Spence opened the scoring in the tenth minute and “The Wasps” never looked back cruising to a 3-0 margin at half-time. In the second period Bala Town made changes and made life more difficult for Jack Ross’s side, but nothing was going to change the outcome with Jack Ross making sure his side progressed to the next round of the tournament.
The Alloa support who had made the 600 mile round trip to witness the ocassion, were a credit to the club and enjoyed the hospitality of their Welsh opponents and added to the ocassion.
jack ross after final game
It’s brilliant to get a win in my final game, I know I said before the game when I was asked that, it wasn’t about me, but equally I would have been sick, so disappointed, if we had not won. The time I have had at the club has been terrific, this season obviously with the results, but also in all my time the performances have been so positive, so I am delighted. I thought in the first half the players showed they are a good team. In the first half we were terrific, but I also felt we played like that last week particularly in the first half as well, it is a good team. However I still said to the players there were bits in the second half we could have done better, but being in a winning position so often that can happen and they will be in winning positions throughout the season, because they are a great group and there are some really talented players amongst them. Their whole approach to the game, considering things were a bit out of sync for our normal immediate pre match preparation, so they deserve great credit.
I was excited by the tie, I thoroughly enjoyed it and coming away with the players yesterday to come down to Wales, some of these guys had to take time of their work, I didn’t, I must give the club credit on that sense as well, we stayed in a lovely hotel last night, so that allowed us to prepare well for the game and the people here have made us very welcome, winning the game makes it far more enjoyable, I’m certainly not against bringing teams from other countries into the tournament, it has its challenges of course but it was exciting, I enjoyed it.
It was a difficult decision to leave to go to St. Mirren because of how much I enjoy the job with Alloa Athletic, and how good a relationship I have with the chairman, and with the rest of the board, and the people all around the club, I have always enjoyed every club I have been involved with in the past but when I was talking to Mike Mulraney, our chairman the other day about it and even going back to when I grew up in football from the early days at Camelon Juniors with my dad, that’s where I grew up watching football and that has an affinity for me , I played nearly 200 games for Clyde and although I have only been at Alloa just under a year I actually know I have an affinity for this club and it will not go away, so I don’t often get the chance to thank supporters personally but I did that today and I will be a regular visitor back at the club when opportunities allow that to happen, It has been a brilliant experience for me, at the right time for me, in so many levels it has been great.
I have said to the players in the dressing room, I don’t hope they achieve promotion at the end of this season I expect it, I said if they go on and achieve what we set out to do at the start of this season, trust me, I will be as proud as they will be because I feel I will have played a part in it and I would love them to do it because they are good enough to do it and they are dedicated enough to do it. Whoever gets this job is a lucky man because it is a brilliant club with a great squad of players. They still have a great chance to achieve this season, now having reached two Quarter Finals already this season, that in itself cannot be overlooked, it is another Quarter Final the club has reached, so to get to the Quarter Finals of the Betfred Cup and now the Irn Bru Cup with the chance to progress further, and be challenging at the right end of the league table is very good and a great platform to kick on again from here.
It will be a big challenge moving to St. Mirren but I love coaching and it will give me far more time to coach, it is exciting for me. There is a million and one challenges which will be in front of me, I am not one who will go in and threaten wholesale changes, I will do as I did here but I will slowly put my own stamp on things, the reality will not start to sink in until over the next couple of days, but my overriding emotion just now is just delighted to see the Alloa Athletic players winning another game.