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Alloa Athletic’s victory at Methil against East Fife gives the club a giant step towards avoiding the relegation play off’s this season. Coming off some poor recent results the performance at Bayview Stadium was at times a joy to watch, certainly in the first half when goals from Stuart Noble & Andy Scott gave the team a great lift and produced a spirited performance in which the Alloa players were first to every ball in which they were the driving force. Indeed credit must go to manager Allan Maitland who took bold decisions in the starting line up, giving full debuts to Gary Carroll and Marc McCafferty who both had excellent games, indeed it was Gary Carroll’s driving run and pass which set up Stuart Noble for the important opening goal in 20 minutes, ten minutes later Brown Ferguson was fouled in the box and Andy Scott despatched the resultant penalty kick for his eighth goal of the season. East Fife had started the game well, reacting well to the changes at the club, with caretaker manager Stevie Crawford sending out an attack minded side. Stuart Noble, who was playing his last game for “The Wasps” as his loan period from Airdrie United has now come to an end, was causing the East Fife defence all sorts of problems and was denied a second goal when Michael Brown brilliantly saved a second half shot which looked to be goal bound. This result now sets us up for next weeks game against Queen’s Park, knowing victory over Gardner Spiers side would keep Alloa Athletic out of the relegation Play off’s. There will be a huge amount of pressure next week, for both sides, Alloa need to take the positives from Methil and try and build on that for the Queen’s Park game.
allan maitland after east fife victory
Inevitably at this time of the season I think that the team that needs to win tends to do that and we have seen that in games recently. Today, we needed to win much more than East Fife did and that is no disrespect to anybody it is not a question of us playing better that them – we needed to win much more than them which meant that when the ball was there to be won we had a bit more energy and drive and I think that was the crucial factor, especially in the first half. We knew that with East Fife’s position, in the middle of the league and the change of manager would give them a boost for a start, so they would probably start the game well but with them being stuck in the middle of the division they had nothing to play for. When they went 2-0 down it was hardly going to be all out assault trying to get back into it – it was going to be game that was killed for them and I think we did that very well. It was a big game for debutants Gary Carroll and Marc McCafferty and I though the two of them were excellent. Brown Ferguson and John Grant gave us so much energy in the middle of the park, I think that was a crucial thing. Stuart Noble played his last game for us and he has done really well without scoring as many goals as we would have liked and I was pleased today that he left on a high rather than a low from last week, today he did well and scored a goal and having the front two players today scoring goals helps. Everything went for us today a shutout, no penalties against us which East Fife usually get – all in all it has been a very good day for us. Before this game we had big decisions to make for team selection today, with Dougie Wilson having fractured his ankle last week and Dougie Hill having pneumonia but the players who have come in have been fantastic.