Alloa Athletic v Queen’s Park

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Last Saturday’s defeat against Queen’s Park was another huge disappointment for everyone at Recreation Park, although Queen’s Park did have the best of the first half, had it not been for an uncharacteristic mistake by goalkeeper Raymond Jellema we might have got to half time at 0-0 and regrouped. Although the second half display was far more encouraging we had left ourselves with a mountain to climb for not starting the match in the proper manner and could not sneak a draw. This might have been different had the stand side linesman assisted the referee when there was a clear hand ball in the box late in the game.


allan maitland after queen’s park game

I would like to start by praising the referee from the Irish FA who was in charge today, I thought he was excellent. Having said that, he obviously couldn’t see the incident and relies on his linesman, but when a player punches the ball in the penalty box in any game I have seen that is a penalty kick, and we are down to ten men and looking to get any breaks we can in the game and there is absolutely no doubt that it was a penalty kick. Why the linesman, who understands it was a handball, believes it was unintentional, you can make up your own mind?

Having said all that I thought Queen’s Park were excellent in the first 45 minutes and deserved their lead, but the manner of their lead was very disappointing for me, in the sense that our first goalkeeper, who was in top of his game and had made three great saves, but a wrong decision and then compounded that wrong decision by chasing and bringing the player down, it would have been bad enough being 1-0 down, but then to get himself sent off makes it even worse. Young Michael has come on the park and his first touch of the ball is a fumble resulting in the second goal, instead of going in at half time not playing well but level with an opportunity to make changes to the team, we go in at half time 2-0 down and restricted in the number of changes which could be made and a player down. I thought young Michael came through the second half well and I was pleased for him to get through that, but it had left us a mountain to climb, our effort in the second half, particularly from the middle three was fantastic but it was just too much to ask, we had to score again in that spell when for 15-20 minutes we were right on top of the game, but sooner of later the extra man was going to count and our players would tire, but today shows no matter how much we have improved, if we don’t start games properly or if we think we are capable of beating anybody by just turning up, today proves that is just not the case, we were way below par in the first half, deserved everything we got and compounded that for making dreadful errors at the goals, the third goal was irrelevant at that stage, but if we had managed to get the penalty we might have sneaked a draw that would have been reward for our second half performance but it would have been unjust on Queen’s based on their first half display. It makes it all the more disappointing that with this result Queen’s leapfrog us in the league table and we mustn’t forget what’s happening behind us.

We are Alloa Athletic who only managed four points out of our first nine games and we cannot afford to revert to that sort of form again, I said at the end of the second quarter we would need to get ourselves to 20 points, so we are a long way from that and have four difficult games coming up in the next weeks – Raith Rovers, East Fife and Ayr United all away, before taking on Brechin City at home, so we need to show a dramatic improvement in our first half performances if we are to manage to take something from these games. We have a Scottish Cup tie to look forward to next week and on a more positive note – Dougie Wilson, Andy Ferguson and Chris Townsley will all be available for next Saturday and hopefully that will give the squad a wee boost and get everybody on their toes. We will be playing a Raith Rovers side on the top of their game with three really good forwards and I think if we don’t go there and be as positive as we possibly can and suffer any backlash from today it will be even more difficult , we have to go there in a positive frame of mind, based on the fact before today we have been playing well, lets see if we can cause them a problem, there will be changes.

Gardner Spiers – queen’s park manager

I thought we were excellent in the first half, although the goals came late in the first half but we had three or four other great chances and it is as well as we have passed the ball about with great movement for a long time, so that was encouraging. We said at half time we would expect Alloa to come out and have a go at us, I’m sure they would have got a talking to at half time and they did, we were a wee bit naïve to give the goal away so soon after half time and that put pressure on us we didn’t need, but to our credit we stood up to it and we had another two or three chances in the second half , so delighted, thought we thoroughly merited it, it was a game we had to win and that’s encouraging as well, if we can win the games we need to win, although it would be good to win them all, you know what I mean, it was important today to manage to get the three points and I thought our guys deserved it. We got three goals today and we could have had more, I think the fact we played so well, passed the ball so well was the reason for that, our spirit and energy was first class. I thought the sending off had a bearing on the result but for twenty minutes of the second half you wouldn’t have known which side had the ten men the way Alloa just rained the ball down on our box, playing of knock downs, but we stood up to that to our credit and got the break of a goal on the counter attack which was nice.


Indodrill Stadium
Indodrill Stadium, Alloa