1 - 0Full Time
A goal two minutes from time against Cowdenbeath, in Tuesday nights replay earned Alloa Athletic a 4th round tie against Premier League side St.Mirren on the 9th January, 2010 at New St.Mirren Park, Paisley in this seasons Active Nation Scottish Cup. This was a tie which was very even with both sides cancelling each other out, Mark Gilhaney was the Alloa hero in a game which looked destined to go to extra time.
allan maitland after cup victory
Tonight in a situation where we were we had no Iain Russell who has played so well in the last two games, we had no Brian Carrigan who had been at the dental hospital trying to deal with an abscess, Stuart Noble who is not quite fit enough yet, Mark Gilhaney who is still not 100% fit and could not start the game, Andy Scott is not properly fit so our striking options tonight was very limited. I felt the only way for us to win the game was to keep digging in, battling away and hoping for a set piece and make sure we were still in the game late in the game and try and go for it. I managed to put Mark Gilhaney on for the last half hour of the match and I think that is the most he could have managed.
I presume that is the reason he was desperate to score the goal so that it did not go to extra time. It was a magnificent effort from our players over the two games and I know that it might not have been the prettiest game and you need luck in these games – Cowdenbeath had a really good spell in the second half and Scott McBride hit a magnificent free kick against the inside of the post and in any other day of the week it would have went in and deserved a goal. We got our break late in the game with only two minutes to go when Mark Gilhaney scrambled for the ball and found himself just eight yards out with the goal keeper to beat and if you are going to score a goal that’s the time to score the winner. It has been a great effort, another shut out which is the big difference from last season – a game to look forward to against St Mirren – I am hoping by that time obviously we will be in better shape for the game but I must say tonight I am very proud of our players and I obviously feel for Cowdenbeath as well because in their position I don’t feel they necessarily deserved to lose – the two teams cancelled each other out by and large in the two games.
We are obviously pleased to get through. Mark Gilhaney had to come off on Saturday when he pulled his hamstring and he had been out for four weeks and that was him just getting back into the team and I don’t think he was ready to start the game – he wanted to start but I thought it was too risky – we have big games coming up over the next three weeks and with Andy Scott not being 100% either both shared the striking role on the evening. We look forward to going to St Mirren’s new stadium in the next round with grit and determination and it’s amazing how far that can get you. Getting through to the next round of the Scottish Cup is also a financial boost for the club. We are not under any illusions what it means to a club like Alloa going to a Premier League ground – but hopefully we will have more striking options on that day which will allow us to be more open in our play. I am hoping that Stuart Noble will be fit for Saturday and Brian Carrigan to have his tooth removed by Saturday and that should give us more options.