Alloa Athletic v Airdrieonians

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The Wasps progressed to their fourth Play-Off final after defeating Airdrie on penalty kicks after the ninety minutes and extra time had ended 1-0 on the day, 1-1 on aggregate. This was a tie over the two legs with Airdrie having the better of the first leg but Alloa Athletic deservedly won after being the better side in the second leg and really should have won inside the ninety minutes but for some outstanding saves by the airdrie keeper Rohan Ferguson and a crucial miss in front of goal, ironically from Alloa top goalscorer Greig Spence nearly let “The Diamonds” off the hook.

Both sides gave their all and at times the game flowed from end to end with plenty goalmouth action. Dylan Mackin was denied giving Alloa the lead when Rohan Ferguson tipped his header over the bar and then saved from the same player with his feet. The winning goal on the day was a goal fit to win any match and Jon Robertson who had replaced Graeme Holmes in the line ups from midweek, struck a 25 yard volley past Ferguson. Then remarkably Greig Spence missed the chance of the match after Jordan Kirkpartrick had taken the ball round Airdrie keeper Rohan Ferguson anset up Greig in front of goal, but his shot lifted and struck the top of the bar, which was a huge let off for the visitors. Alloa missed a penalty in the shoot out when Steven Hetherington saw his effort saved but Alloa keeper Neil Parry then produced two stunning saves to deny Iain Russell & Kieran MacDonald, with the scores locked at 3-3, Calum Waters was given the responsibility to take the final spot kick, which he coolly drilled past Rohan Ferguson to win the match 4-3 on penalties.

The Wasps will now meet Brechin City, who themselves progressed to the final after defeating Championship side Raith Rovers on penalties.


 


jim goodwin on reaching the playoff final

I’m absolutely delighted with the overall performance, we showed great character, we knew we weren’t at the pace or standard we set on Wednesday night and Airdrie deserved to win the game on Wednesday night but I thought today the boys were different class for the majority of the game, Airdrie had their wee spells on the break but without being disrespectful of them I don’t think anybody could argue with the overall outcome to be honest. I know penalties is a bit of a lottery but if you think of the chances we had throughout the match , I think we probably should have put the game to bed before it got to extra time.

Just so proud of the boys, through my twenty years involved in full-time football I have never come across a bunch of boys and that is not me being disrespectful of a great team we had at St. Mirren when we won the cup, I’ve never known a bunch like this, you couldn’t tell who was the part time team and who was the full time team out there today, their fitness levels are phenomenal, what they do here is train with us two nights a week and it is their responsibility to go and do the rest during the week and I don’t think the majority of the full time boys I have played with don’t even know they are born in comparison the work these lads do, their energy levels are frightening, the substitutions that I made, every single one of them Hetherington, McCluskey and Adam Martin they all made an impact when they came on. Overall you could say it is a bit of relief that we have got through the tie but we are well aware we have done nothing yet, we are not getting carried away, the boys will recover properly they will get their ice baths after the game, be in on Monday night for a massage and then we go again on Wednesday.

Greig Spence is in there and he is gutted for his miss but if there was any a person in the team you would want the chance to fall to it would have been Greig, but he has been a hero so many times for us this season and without his goals, god only knows where we would be so no he is a fantastic player, he is great around the dressing room and he is very relieved, I’m not sure he would have got out of Alloa tonight if we hadn’t of won that game. The boys were brilliant and great bottle for the lads who stepped up to take the kicks because that’s nervous as well, that takes courage and bravery, wee Calum’s heart must have been racing at the end but if ever there was a guy who you would want to take the last penalty with the quality of the left foot he has, it would have been him, and Neil Parry makes two great saves, but overall I can’t single out any individual, I think our performance was where I expected it to be on Wednesday night and we now have a final to look forward to.

Brechin City are a good side, well organised any encounter we have had with them has always been a difficult one, but we have played them four times this season, so it is probably better that it is Brechin, because it is easier for me because we know them a lot more than we would have known Raith Rovers. I had been digging out as much footage as I could on Raith Rovers over the last couple of weeks but I am glad it is Brechin, both of us know each other well, we know our strengths and our weakness are and it will make for another great game, so we just need to go and apply ourselves properly to give ourselves every chance, I am confident if we are able to go and replicate our performance of today then we will be fine.

Highlights

Ground

Indodrill Stadium
Indodrill Stadium, Alloa