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Alloa Athletic showed excatly the fighting spirit which will be required as “The Wasps” embarked on their league challenge in the new SPFL, the victory over Livingston was the start Alloa manager, Paul Hartley was looking for, in a season when home form and results will become so important. The game was decided by a solitary goal, Stephen Simmons slotting home after a great cut back from Kevin Cawley had created the space for the “Simmy” to score the all important goal. Andy Kirk did have an early opportunity to open the scoring but struck his shot in a manner it allowed their keeper to block. This is the first time “The Wasps” have defeated Livingston in a league game since they replaced Meadowbank Thistle in the league back in season 1995/96. Livingston came back at “The Wasps” in the second half and even a red card for Ross Docherty for two bookings, did not appear to stop their determination for an equaliser, the woodwork coming to the rescue – but Alloa stood resolute and might have extended their lead late on.
paul hartley after defeating livingston
It was a very pleasing win for us in our first game in the Championship. You never know how it is going to go but we were solid with a clean sheet, a 1-0 win and we are off and running. I think our home games are going to be important for us this year and we will try to get as many points as we can. The players were fantastic in terms of effort and they had some good quality about them so we are pleased to get the win. It was a great ball for the goal from Michael Doyle, some great work from Kevin Cawley to get the cut back as he is always on the move and Stephen Simmons is in the right place up supporting, as midfielders should be, to supply a great finish but I think we deserved it in the end. Andy Kirk had a great chance when through on their keeper and showed some good composure to create the chance but he probably hit it too well and gave the keeper the chance to block, but he was excellent for us with his hold up play and his experience for young Declan McManus was beneficial. I thought as a team we had some great moments and there are a lot of positives to take from the game. We find ourselves joint top of the league and if we can stay there for another 35 games that would be great! All we can do is try to hold our own in this league and hopefully we can surprise a few teams. We are unknown and everyone has us down as the favourites to get relegated and I think that will suit us. The starting eleven was very strong but I had a bench full of kids for this game. If we can get the missing players back fit then we have a strong 18-man squad. I am delighted for the guys because their effort is fantastic and they give it everything every week.
The Dundee game next Saturday is not a worry for me. I don’t fear anybody. We will go and have a go and be as positive as we can. We will set the team out properly and hopefully we can get a result. Three points for us though, today against Livingston, when other teams haven’t picked up any is a boost and we will try to pick up as many as we can. Scott Bain was great for us again, he is the best young keeper in Scotland without a doubt. I keep saying it and he has shown his maturity over the last couple of years with exposure to first team football and he was outstanding again today against Livingston as keepers need to be at this level. We are up another level this season, and he is going to be called upon a lot more. We want to keep our better players at the club but we are not here to stand in their way either. We want our players to progress, we had an offer for Scott Bain in the summer from a SPFL Premiership side which we turned down because we hold him in very high regard and the offer wasn’t good enough. He has a fantastic future ahead of him and I have absolutely no doubt that Scott can go to the very top of the game.