0 - 2Full Time
Alloa Athletic closed the gap at the top of the Irn Bru SFL Division Two after their first victory this season over local neighbours Stenhousemuir. This was a must win game for the club if they are to mount a serious challenge on gaining promotion this season. In the first half “The Wasps” played some of their best football this season and were well worth their two goal lead, indeed it should have been more. Brown Ferguson scored the important first goal after hesitancy by the home keeper Chris McCluskey, who in recent games has been excellent against Alloa, then striker Bryan Prunty making his league debut proved just how valuable a signing he could be in pushing “The Wasps” further up the league table. In the second half Stenhousemuir were unfortunate to go down to ten men after an injury to Sean Welsh, with no player near him, meant he had to be stretchered from the field of play and no replacement. As so often happens the ten men battled hard and Alloa appeared to take their foot of the gas. However a good victory and a notice of intent for the rest of the season.
allan maitland after ochilview victory
We had a great first half performance and I think bringing the new players into the club has given the place a lift. We started the game really well, their goal keeper looked a bit nervous and we capitalised on that. We planned to get Towner involved at the corner kicks and he did that really well and helped Bomber score. The second goal, just showed exactly why Bryan Prunty was brought to the club – we have lacked an out and out goal scorer since Greig Spence went to Celtic, Iain Russell was on loan for a short while but he has returned to Morton, and we have now brought in Bryan Prunty to fill that gap. A moment of hesitation between the goal keeper and the defender and it was a goal and Bryan was unlucky with other efforts, especially one in the second half. I have got to give great credit to Stenhousemuir I thought their application and determination in the second half, especially when they went down to ten men after having used all their substitutes, was fantastic. We didn’t play well enough in the second half and maybe that is because of the lack of games so there will be no excuse for that next week. I said before hand we came here for a shut out and if we got up the park I was sure we could win and that’s how it’s worked out. I would have taken 2-0 before the start of the game and I don’t want to be over critical having won the game. I thought Chris Townsely was probably the best player on the park, I thought he was magnificent and with the other results going the way they are I think it has been a great day for us. I thought in the second half we didn’t shut up the ball quick enough and gave them encouragement. I feel we can do better – I think our first half performance, if that’s going to be our standard then the second half was probably 15-20% below that. I thought Stenhousemuir worked their socks off and credit to them for that. We need to concentrate on winning our own games – great for Bryan Prunty to score a goal in his first competitive game, obviously David Gormley has not played any football at all in five weeks so he showed he needs the games but he will be another great signing for us. Young James Bloom, once he settled in and realised the pace of the game, I thought he did better in the second half, when everybody else got poorer he got better. I thought he gave the team a much better balance and allowed Andy Scott to play further up the park. It was a good game and one who desperately wanted to win.