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Today’s game at Hampden Park was a game in which Alloa Athletic were still seeking their first away victory this season and unbelievably their first win at the national stadium since winning 4-0 on the 22nd March, 1997, when goals from Paul Simpson(2), Willie Irvine and David Pew won that day. Queen’s Park had only lost 2-1 at Celtic Park in this seasons Scottish Cup last week and were still reflecting on this when Stuart Noble should have opened the scoring inside two minutes for “The Wasps”. Greig Spence making his full debut for the club put Stuart through on goals, but David Crawford in the home goal produced an excellent save, this was only to be expected as Crawford has now won the “Man of the Match” award in Alloa’s two visits to Hampden this season. Queen’s opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Iain Watt crossed and Paul Harkins to score his third goal of the season, all against Alloa Athletic. Alloa dominated possession but again at Hampden could not find a way past David Crawford. The second half opened in sensational fashion when Queen’s defender Barry Douglas was red carded after two bookable challenges right in front of the referee. Alloa took advantage and Greig Spence scored his first senior goal, not bad for a 16 year old player. Again Alloa should have killed the game off, Bomber Ferguson again being denied by a great save by Crawford. As is not unusual Queen’s played better with ten men and Alloa did not win this game until two minutes from the end when Stuart Noble, lashed a shot high past the home keeper for a deserved victory for Alloa Athletic.
allan maitland after hampden victory
This was our first away win of the season and our first away win since March, 2008 the difficult thing for us is we need to go behind, also need to create sixteen chances to score two, in the first half we played really well at times, Queen’s Park had one shot at goal and scored and I think with Stuart Noble through twice, there was a big scramble which should have been put away, Jinky was through and blasted over, we had created chances but missed them, but at half time I was saying to the players just to perceiver, keep playing, keep believing and it will come right for us, just keep doing the right things.
The sending off, obviously helped us, I thought the first tackle was a booking and having just been booked it was awfully silly, his adrenalin was running high and to lunge into a tackle which he didn’t need to do, but the referee was spot on giving another booking and a sending off and I don’t think anyone can have any complaints.
I know the complaint was that “Wardy” had reacted in a way which encouraged the referee to book him but when we played against Queen’s Park earlier in the season at the Recs and Raymond Jellema pulled their player down in the box the Queen’s Park people were right up saying “He has got to go” it’s just the nature of the game and I think when teams are at our end of the league table they look for any breaks they can possibly get its just part of the game. I think it was a sending off and we scored really early soon after this and I was delighted for Greig Spence on his full senior debut to score, we were creating chances at that stage, Bomber had a great chance which he must score, Greig had a free header in the box but when Bomber was right through but again their goalkeeper was magnificent, but after that the game died we couldn’t take advantage of the extra man, we had hoped to get Jinky and Andy Scott on the ball but it didn’t happen and out of the blue in our worst spell in the game Stuart Noble shows real strength turning the defender really well and I asked him about the composed finish, but he said gaffer there was nothing composed about that I had missed so many chances I just leathered it. We needed that away victory on the back of the Ayr United result last week we needed the belief of an away win to say we are ecstatic is an understatement we are absolutely thrilled.
A massive result for us and something we can start to build on this year, it’s the first time we have had back to back wins this season, with our two strikers scoring the goals this helps but we need to build on that. We hope to extent Stuart Noble’s stay, he has done really well for us, today was his first goal and obviously he missed chances which he did last week as well but he has been great for us and he needed the match sharpness which we have been able to give him and I think that has helped. Brian Carrigan has been ill all week, he is now feeling better but he said his head was still bursting, he hadn’t trained all week so there was no way I could play him which created an opportunity for Greig Spence, people might look at it throwing a youngster into the team but Greig has played coming on as substitute and we have deliberately had him in the squad for most of the season because I think he has something and I have played him on Tuesday night games against Junior sides pacifically to be ready when his opportunity came along, he has trained with the first team all season getting him physically stronger and he was excellent today, I think Stuart Noble helped him but scoring a goal on his full first team debut certainly helps.