Alloa Athletic v Raith Rovers

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Striker Andy Kirk helped manager Paul Hartley celebrate his 100th competitive game for “The Wasps” in style, the experienced striker netting the only goal of the game. The 1st in this game always looked to be important and thats how it ended up, both sides had opportunities in the first half but Andy Kirk’s goal just after the hour mark won the game and earned him the “Man of the match” award. The Wasps might have increased their lead on the break in the 2nd half but were happy to win the points and move into 4th place in the division.


paul hartley after victory over raith rovers

It was a great way to celebrate my 100th milestone, by gaining another three great points, I thought the players worked hard and deserved it the way they went about their business, we didn’t want to lose a goal, players throwing their bodies on the line when they had to, we defended really well as a team earning us another clean sheet, so it was a great result. We had good chances, especially on the counter attack today from the wider areas, we worked on this at training all week to exploit their weaknesses and we tried to do that. Andy Kirk had the one real chance and he took it so well, it was a great finish from him. We know we have a keeper and back four who have kept a few clean sheets this year. The result moves us up to fourth in the table, we’ve started well but there is a long way to go, we need to keep it going.  The big thing for us is to stay in this league but the boys can be pleased with what they have done so far, their spirits excellent.

I know my name has been linked with the Inverness job, but another ten managers have also been linked, all I can say is we must be doing something right! – I’m enjoying it here and I’m enjoying working with the players here, I have had no contact from them, I go about my business,  I don’t talk to the press about being involved for jobs, so I need to keep it going here and see what happens.

Derek Riordan was at the game today but he still has a long way to go in terms of his condition, but he is a player I would definitely be interested in because he is a player of real quality, I have seen that in the few training sessions we have had, so he knows how we work and what we do, who knows what can happen. The one thing for Derek just now is he is not playing, he is still a young man at 30 years old – he should be playing football, so we have given him the opportunity to get in a good level of condition, I think the boy just wants to play now, but he needs to get himself proper first, but just now he is unfit to play, so we will give him every opportunity, we have given him the facilities but it is up to him. He needs to work hard, he has not been involved in match action, he is doing his own stuff but it is not the same – I think he is a good 4 – 6 weeks away, but it is up to him if he wants to work hard and if he wants it.

I thought our two centre backs coped very well today, we had a few players out there who could have come back and haunt us, but we knew their threat and I think we coped very well. Our experienced players played a big part, Stephen Simmons  controlled in front of the back four and Andy Kirk scored the winning goal, I was pleased, delighted.


Indodrill Stadium
Indodrill Stadium, Alloa