3aet - 2Full Time
“The Wasps” can hold their heads up after narrowly losing to last years beaten finalist, Ross County at Victoria Park in a five goal thriller. Alloa started brightly and attacked from the start, which was rewarded after 4 minutes when Stuart Noble caught Steven Watt trying to pass back to his keeper and nipped in to lob the ball home. Alloa maintained their positive style as often as possible throughout the game and in the end could well feel aggrieved not to hang on for penalties. Manager Allan Maitland did suffer a setback prior to the kick off when he discovered Stephen Hall, who only had signed for the club on Thursday evening, had been in a car crash on Friday night and suffered whiplash, making him unable to sit on the bench. In the end the full time fitness, especially in the 2nd period of extra time, when Alloa had been reduced to ten men was to be the difference on the day.
allan maitland after alba cup exit
First and foremost over the one hundred & twenty minutes I thought it was a good game, I thought we started well, scored a goal in the time we were on top and the players passed the ball well, there after I have to say Ross County played really well, had a lot of possession, didn’t create that many chances to be fair but were still causing us problems, especially when we were sitting in too deep. Again we started the second half well but early substitutions, with Steven Craig and Michael Gardyne coming on changed the game, with Michael Gardyne playing in an area, in which John Grant, who had already been booked and Mark Brown did start to tire, so Gardyne was causing us all sorts of problems, he took his first goal really well. We got to extra time and you could see we were tired, but my main problem at this stage of the game was that we were getting an awful lot of bookings, in a game there was hardly any dirty tackles, the sending off was a challenge, which I can understand why the referee sent Gary Carroll off, but in general the bookings were very soft. Then of course the referee produces a red card to Greig Spence before he realised he hadn’t been already booked and he had picked the wrong player, at times he couldn’t wait to produce a card. The penalty kick ..….lets just say it was in the soft category again, but David Crawford pulled off a magnificent save, our efforts by all our players on the day were excellent. I don’t necessary feel we deserved to win the game, Ross County scored good goals, so they deserved to win, but we deserved not to lose and if we had got to penalty kicks I would have been pleased with that. A great effort by the boys for our first game of the season and we just need to learn to keep a hold of the ball a bit better. A special mention to the Alloa Athletic fans who travelled to Dingwall and gave us great backing, it was really appreciated by the players, a big thank you.