Alloa Athletic v Stenhousemuir

4 - 2
Full Time

KO KO 37 60 60 60 64 67 70 76 78 89 FT

Report

Alloa needed a win to put themselves in contention for the four best runners up in the Betfred Cup group stages. Stenhousemuir were looking to avoid the wooden spoon in group H but their buildup was marred by a COVID-19 diagnosis and numerous members of their back line missing. With an average age of just 22.2 years old it seemed an excellent time for Alloa to blood their new talent and rotate their other veterans. 8 changes for the Wasps saw Jamieson, Williamson, Murray, O’Donnell, Scougall, Malcolm, Buchanan and Evans all rotated in.

The vastly changed Alloa team looked exactly that, though, Willison having to be alert to stop Stenhousemuir taking the early lead as the visitors surprisingly dominated the first half. Alloa did carve open a gilt edged opportunity as Jamieson’s header found its way through to Scougall in the box but his cutback to Buchanan was spurned as a sprawling Stenhousemuir defender desperately put him off.

With the first half continuing the same way. The opening goal was inevitable for the visitors. Yeats cutback met by Cameron Graham and Adam Brown’s attempted headed block sent it into the top corner as Willison looked likely to save the effort.

Things went from bad to worse just four minutes later as Willison came to punch a deep free-kick, only to be clattered into in the box. With the keeper down and the ball loose, a desperate challenge from the young Alloa forward Liam Evans mis-timed on the Stenhousemuir attacker was a stonewall penalty. Former favourite, Greig Spence stepped up at his old haunt and slotted away the penalty.

The last 16 looked to be slipping through Alloa’s hands.

With 15 minutes of the second half gone and no change in the flow of the game Peter Grant sent on Steven Hetherington and Raymond Grant in place of Murray and Evans. A succession of Alloa corners was eventually prodded home at the back post by Liam Buchanan and Alloa were back in business.

Stenhousemuir were more and more finding themselves pinned in their own half as Williamson won a penalty in almost identical challenge to Stenhousemuir’s award. Buchanan would command the penalty and send the keeper the wrong way with 20 minutes remaining. One more goal would put Alloa in prime position to qualify, with results in the other games looking favourably on the Wasps and in the 78th minute Buchanan would wrap up a hat-trick. Although, not that the Alloa forward knew much about it. Young Paddy Martin fumbling the cross onto the strikers back and ricocheting towards goal. Despite the desperate legwork of the Stenhousemuir defender the ball trickled over the line for Buchanan’s first Alloa hattrick and first since his Cowdenbeath days vs Alloa in 2006.

Steven Hetherington would then add to the Martin’s misery as from 25 yards he was left statuesque as the Alloa midfielder secured all three points and a place in the last 16 for Alloa.

Alloa’s prize is a last 16 tie against fellow Championship side Heart of Midlothian on 28/29th November.

 

Highlights

Alloa Athletic

31Reece Willison Goalkeeper
24Lucas Williamson Defender
5Andy Graham Defender
15Nicky Jamieson Defender
18Blair Malcolm Defender
12Stefan Scougall Midfielder
20Cameron O’Donnell Midfielder
23Innes Murray 6 Midfielder
14Adam Brown Midfielder
9Liam Buchanan Forward 64', 70', 78'
26Liam Evans 22 Forward
22Ray Grant 26 Midfielder
6Steven Hetherington 23 Midfielder 89'

Stenhousemuir

1Paddy Martin Goalkeeper
22Tommy Muir Defender
24Christopher McQueen Defender
16Callum Yeats Defender
21Jack Hodge Midfielder
18Cameron Graham 8 Midfielder
6Ryan Blair Midfielder 76'
7Callum Tapping Midfielder
9Josh Grigor Forward
25Mark McGuigan Forward
11Greig Spence Forward 37'
8Thomas Halleran 18
3Paul Brown
15Martin Shiels
14Ryan Watters
17Callum Erksine
17Jayden Fairley
20Botti Biabi

Ground

Indodrill Stadium
Indodrill Stadium, Alloa