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Alloa Athletic ended the first quarter of the season with their first ever league victory over Airdrie United and also their first victory in the league at the Excelsior Stadium since the club won the Challenge Cup at the same stadium on 21st November, 1999 against Inverness CT, the club did defeat Airdrie United at start of Season 2009/10 in the CIS Cup in a game which was drawn 0-0 and Alloa won the penalty shoot out. Alloa started yesterdays game brightly and could have been two goals ahead in the first 5 minutes, Bryan Prunty’s free kick was well held by keeper Mark Ridgers before another ex Airdrie player, Kevin McDonald had a one on one with the keeper which Ridgers blocked superbly. When the goal came it was created by Kevin McDonald, whose cross was headed goalward by Bryan Prunty and Jim Lister chested the ball into the net. Three minutes later Bryan Prunty was booked aftar a clash with Scott Gibson which incited Paul Lovering who joined Prunty in the book. In the second half Airdrie came far more into the game picking up the pace, but never creating any chances near goal. Airdrie were reduced to nine men in the second half when Rhys Devlin was sent off after a kick at Kevin McDonald and four minutes later Kieran Stallard, on loan to Airdrie from Falkirk, was also dismissed after receiving a second yellow card after a verbal attack towards the officials which would disappoint the Airdrie management. Alloa should have increased their lead, Darren Smith did strike the post with a vicious shot and David Gormley saw a piledriver just flash past the post. To their credit the young Airdrie side played till the final whistle and nearly equalised right at the end, which was one of the only efforts they had on goal during the match. Ex Alloa player Jamie Stevenson had a good game in midfield for the home side along side “Man of the Match” Ryan McCord, a great three points for “The Wasps” but they again could have had the points wrapped up earlier in the game.
allan maitland after airdrie united victory
First and foremost it’s really important win with the first quarter out of the way, if you sit at the end of the first quarter with 14 or 15 points then I think that is no where near enough if you are hoping to be in the challenge at the end of the league season so we are now sitting on 17 points, obviously that is a much better average and the big thing we have got to change is our away form and winning 1-0 here today is a great result. I know that people will look at it and say that Airdrie were down to nine men, to that end we should have scored a second goal to make it more comfortable but even against nine men the objective was to stay professional and we limited Airdrie to very few chances apart from the one right at the end which made it seem closer but other than that I can’t recollect our goalkeeper having to make another serious save. However we should have scored more than one goal– I thought we started the game particularly well – played well in the first half with great chances for Kevin McDonald and Bryan Prunty and could have been 2-0 up inside the first five minutes but we are just delighted to win. Great to see Jim Lister getting his goal although Bryan Prunty was still trying to claim the goal as well – such is their passion to score, which is a great sign. Airdrie are a very young team – there is no doubt discipline is a vital part of football and if you get to a situation where they are on top then the discipline won’t be a problem. From our point of view the most important thing is not to give them that advantage – to make sure the advantage was with us – they were then chasing the game and then that element of indiscipline comes into it when decisions go against them. To be fair I thought the referee handled everything absolutely spot on, including the bookings against us – I don’t think he had any choice with either of the red cards. The first one was an absolute stone waller Rhys Devlin made no attempt to play the ball and the second sending off for Kieron Stallard I am not sure the referee was going to book him until he started mouthing off at the referee which was just silly. I don’t think they left the referee with any option. From our point of view it’s a shut out and a fantastic 3 points for us and I couldn’t be more pleased. We worked on something on Tuesday night in preparation for today’s game, we looked at changing the shape of or our team and it didn’t work, that’s the benefit of having the park on a Tuesday night and trying that so we reverted back to our 4-4-2 formation today and it was a great result for us.