Falkirk v Alloa Athletic

3 - 1
Full Time

Highlights

Alloa Athletic secured their place in the SPFL Championship next season despite losing 3-1 to local rivals Falkirk on a dramatic final day of the season. It was a terrific atmosphere inside the Falkirk stadium as the hosts were in the title hunt while the Wasps were trying desperately to avoid the relegation playoff place at the foot of the table. The Bairns started the better and Scott Bain had to be at his best to pull out a terrific save to deny Beck’s bullet header from an early corner.

The home side’s early pressure paid off on 23 minutes when Mark Millar found Beck free at the front post who bulleted his side in front with the header. The Wasps weren’t down for long though as they caught their rivals cold on the break as they pushed for a second.

A brilliant solo run from Ryan McCord saw him glide past four defenders before cutting the ball back to Kevin Cawley who poked the ball home to bring his side level. Some heroic defending from Barry Smith’s men ensured that they went in level at the interval when Ben Gordon got the ball off the line as Blair Alston poked the ball beyond Bain towards goal.

Alloa passed up an unbelievable chance to take the lead on 51 minutes when Liam Caddis did brilliantly to get beyond two defenders and round the advancing Bairns keeper Michael McGovern but the on-loan St Johnstone midfielder could only put the shot into the side netting.

The Wasps paid the price for not taking their chances as Gary Holt’s men hit them on the break to take the lead. Bairns substitute Sheppard did well to get to the byline and squared to find the onrushing Sibbald who forced the ball home from six yards. Alloa could have levelled when Graeme Holmes chipped pass was headed back by Ross Caldwell into the path of substitute Andy Kirk but the striker’s goal-bound volley was tipped over by McGovern.

Falkirk clinched all three points on 90 minutes when Beck nodded home from close range to make it 3-1 at full time after great work from Alston to set up the chance.

Despair soon turned to joy for the travelling support though as word came through that Queen of the South had scored a late leveller at Cowdenbeath meaning Alloa had survived the playoffs at the last moment to clinch their place in the Championship for another season. Jubilant scenes ensued as the players re-emerged from the dressing room to celebrate with the Wasps’ faithful.

Graeme Lafferty, Alloa Advertiser


 


barry smith at falkirk

First of all I cannot thank the boys enough, I thought today they were excellent, they have been for weeks – maybe not been getting the results but I thought they played excellent today, they passed the ball against a good passing team in Falkirk but we certainly passed the ball as well as we have been doing in recent weeks, we had opportunities. In terms of achievements that’s up there, it’s a great achievement for Alloa Athletic Football Club to stay in this division, you do not know what this will mean to the people of Alloa, they might not be the biggest support in the world but it means just as much to them as to anyone else and I am delighted for them because them and the players because they are the boys who have worked their socks off, week in, week out and we have not had that rub of the green and today we got the rub of the green from somewhere else, but because of our hard work I believe that if you work hard, you will get that rub of the green and today we deserved it.

I said to the players after the game if we are in the Play Offs, if we play like we did today we would stay up, I had belief in them, because I thought they were excellent today, we maybe never converted a couple of great chances but that has been the same in previous weeks and I said to the players if we play like that we will stay up because I thought we did extremely well today. We were in the changing rooms and I was already thinking about the Play offs when someone came in and said it was now 1-1 at Central Park, but we have seen some teams celebrate before when they get similar news but then it ends up it is not true, so we were doing our best to make sure that was correct information and that the game had indeed ended 1-1 – somebody had a Sky thing but it wasn’t showing the game was finished – it was a roller coaster emotion because I was already thinking about Wednesdays game, straight after the game I was thinking about our next game which would have been on Wednesday – but I did think that if we had went into the play offs, I know we have enough quality in that team that would have seen us stay up.

We had our chances, when Liam Caddis did wonderful to create the chance and then round their keeper but he just needed that goal but hit the side netting, Ross Caldwell, that’s the Ross Caldwell we know, he was excellent today and hopefully he goes back to Hibernian and becomes a first team player there and Liam returns to St. Johnstone, knowing and having the knowledge they have done a job for us.

I now gives us a chance to look right over the squad and see where we are going with it, that’s the nature of football and there are though decisions to be made cause they are a great group of boys and none of the decisions will be taken lightly but that is the nature of football but I don’t want to speak about that just now rather speak about how great an achievement it is for Alloa Athletic Football Club to stay in this division, for myself it is an incredible achievement to be involved in and I have been involved in some great achievement in my spell as a football manager, but that is up there because keeping a part time club in a division, full of full time clubs is very difficult and it will be a great challenge next season but we look forward to head on and look forward to another new challenge, where everyone can play their part, the Alloa support again today was fantastic.

Ground

Falkirk Stadium
Falkirk Stadium, Stadium Way, Westfield, Laurieston, Falkirk, Scotland, FK2 9DX, United Kingdom