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Alloa Athletic ended 2013 with an excellent display at the New Falkirk Stadium, their first competitive game at the new stadium since last playing “The Bairns” in a league match at Falkirk in Season 2002/03. Although the game ended 0-0, the same score as our clash earlier in the season at Recreation Park, both teams could have won the game, Falkirk being the home tie had the bulk of the possession but Alloa Athletic could claim to having the more clear cut chances on the day, hitting the home side on the break and could have snatched all three points in the second half when Kevin Cawley and substitute Declan McManus had great chances to win the match. However the final chance of the game fell to Falkirk substitute Phil Roberts who unleashed a powerful shot which Scott Bain dived to save and pick up his 13th shut out of the season, a statstic which cannot be overlooked.
paul hartley after draw at falkirk
I thought in terms of our second half performance, the way that the team played, I thought they were outstanding, in their shape and organisation and will no to get beaten and we counter attacked really well, we had four or five good situations where we could possibly done better but in terms of coming here, which is difficult, we said that before the game, we tried to keep the crowd quiet and I think we did that and they were getting frustrated – we had a game plan and it worked. I think when you go away from home you are always going to be under the cosh and we knew we would be under pressure for large periods of the game, we definitely play a different way away from home than we do at home, we are more of a counter attacking team away from home and we usually play two up top but when you are playing teams at the top of the division we have to adapt, we are solid and don’t lose many goals and we try and hit teams on the counter, breaking in numbers which we did successfully today.
Scott Bain again delivered again today with some good saves, but I thought the back four were good, I thought the team were good, in their style of play not wanting to get beaten, making last ditch tackles when required which was evident in the second half but we had great chances when we countered and we could have had a couple of goals today, with a wee bit more composure in the final third of the park.
Michael Doyle stepped into central defence today, and did a great job, we were really low on numbers today, with only 15 players, two or three of them with niggling injuries so we were down to the bare bones, we had a call off this morning from Stephen Simmons and Ben Gordon suspended so we were really low in numbers, but the effort from the players and the guys that came in were outstanding. That was or fourteenth clean sheet of the season and if you get clean sheets you do not lose games It’s an old saying but we have a really strong foundation there in terms of how we work, but it’s all credit to the players and their application.