2 - 1Full Time
Alloa Athletic consolidated their position in third place in the league with a 2-1 victory over nearest rivals Brechin City who are now five points behind “The Wasps” but have a game in hand against Peterhead at Glebe Park on Tuesday night. This was one of the best games of the season at Recreation Park, in which on loan striker Iain Russell was in top form on his final game of his loan period before returning to Greenock Morton. Indeed once again as he has done in the past, Craig Nelson in the Brechin goal was outstanding, substitute Brian Carrigan finally broke the deadlock from the penalty spot and then CHarlie King had the opportunity to equalise when Brechin were also awarded a penalty kick but his effort struck the post, which was a great let off for the home fans. Two minutes from the end, Scott Agnew who had also came on as a substitute, scored a cracking goal with his right foot! In the final minute Rory McAllister did pull a consolation goal back for Jim Duffy’s men but it was the Alloa fans who were full of Christmas cheer in their final home fixture before Christmas.
allan maitland after victory over brechin city
I am going to say the exact same thing as I did when we played Brechin the last time and that is – that was a fantastic game of football, even at 0-0 I thought both teams put the ball down and played well, the difference is, the last time they beat us 2-1 with a late goal, today we won 2-1 with the second goal so late in the game which was the one crucial goal today, delighted to have won the game. We have had five games in the last fifteen days and to have come through them and to get through to the next round of the Scottish Cup and take seven points out of nine in the league, including two difficult away games and Brechin City at home I think our team have been magnificent and if ever there was a day you wanted to check the strength of your squad, today we had Scott Walker not playing, Brown Ferguson not playing, I made two substitutions and the two players come on, both score, Scott Agnew has been really patient, but to score a goal like that today, it was an absolute magnificent strike, Iain Russell’s contribution in the whole game was superb, I genuinely believe that if Iain had been fit over the last three months we would easily have picked up another six league points, he has been such a good player for us scoring two goals in his last two league games and his overall game today was excellent. I would also say it was harsh on “Minnie” David McClune, to not have won the man of the match award today because he was fantastic, as was Mark Brown and Scot Buist, we have just got good players at this club, they are on a high at the moment, scoring that late goal on Tuesday night gave them a huge boost, it saved the game going into extra time and we progressed to the next round of the Scottish Cup, on Thursday night at training there was no sense of tiredness and every Saturday or game we play, I have decisions to make on who is the right players to pick as apposed to lets get a team on the park. It helped today having Stuart Noble fit, Brian Carrigan fit, Iain Russell was available, Mark Gilhaney is fit which is in contrast to Tuesday night when two were half fit and three were unavailable. We are in a good place just now and this sets us up nicely for a difficult game at Dumbarton and a difficult couple of games over Christmas and New Year but I said on Tuesday night I was proud of the players, the supporters enjoyed this today and I’m proud of the boys again today and I hope the players enjoy their Christmas night out tonight, I’m sure it will make all the difference winning, however the defence was disappointed to lose a goal but if you are going to lose a goal it is better to lose it when you are winning 2-0 with only a minute left. Craig Nelson has again been magnificent for them, there was nothing between the two teams but Alloa created the better chances throughout the game, Craig Nelson’s save in the first half was excellent but the one in the second half from Stuart Noble was unbelievable, how he got to that I don’t know for he couldn’t have seen it until so late, but Craig Nelson has always done that against us, he is still a top quality goalkeeper. I believe the crucial thing in the game was them missing their penalty kick, which was a penalty. I thought ours was also a penalty but the incident before was a much more clearer penalty and it wasn’t given. To have an open and good game of football it must mean that the referee and his officials have played their part in that and I think that was the case, there was a couple of decisions you could say maybe that or maybe this but all the big decisions in the game they probably got them right, we are pleased and looking forward to next Saturday.
jim duffy brechin city manager
It was always going to be a tough game and at times Craig Nelson had to pull off two or three great saves and after your goalkeeper has made these saves you have every right to think you are going to get something out of the game, but the penalty decision, I can understand why the linesman gave it, it did hit him on the hand, but it was a miskick, he went to clear it and it hit of his hand, so if that was a penalty it was harsh. I understand how the linesman gave it cause his hand was in an unnatural position and it did hit him on the hand, so I wouldn’t go overboard with that one, then we had the chance to get back in the game when we had a penalty, but we miss it, so we then had to gamble a bit and got caught on the break. The bigger decision for me was when Rory McAllister was clean through, why would Rory give away a free kick, he was through, that was a big decision, but at the end of the day the referee calls it, I don’t want to make a big deal about it but we were disappointed. The second goal was at a time we were chasing the game and was harsh on us, but Rory did get a goal back. It was a good game, Alloa had a few chances and our goalkeeper had to be in top form, but it was a big decision which changed the match really.