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“The Wasps” held Raith Rovers to a 0-0 draw in today’s Homecoming Scottish Cup 3rd round tie at Stark’s Park. Having lost 4-1 at the start of the month at the same ground manager Allan Maitland started the game with three centre backs in an effort to be defensively sound. This restricted Raith Rovers to very little goalmouths efforts, with Alloa having a strong bench, from which they could bring on players to win the game in the final quarter of the match. Two minutes into the second half Pat Scullion was dismissed for his second yellow card, restricting Alloa’s opportunities. We now can look forward to a replay, pencilled in for a week on Tuesday, 9th December at Recreation Park. The draw for the 4th round of this season’s Homecoming Scottish Cup takes place at Hampden Park on Monday and Alloa Athletic are very pleased still to be involved.
allan maitland after starks draw
First and foremost we are delighted to be in the draw for the next round , we would obviously have liked to win the game but it was always going to be a difficult game for us today. I thought Raith Rovers would play a high tempo game and on the back of that we decided to start with three centre backs and that was working really well, then Dougie Hill got injured and we had to change it, but our commitment and effort was excellent and it restricted Raith Rovers to only one chance in the first half, in the second half the early sending off didn’t help us, I had no qualms about it, he was a bit unfortunate in the fact he was the only player booked, but he appeared to catch Allan Walker a bit late so the sending off was fine. I thought the referee handed the game really well, so in the second half in was a case of hanging in, but we defended so much better than we have in previous weeks and our goalkeeper when called upon had one fantastic save at the bottom left post, but other that that I thought we restricted Raith Rovers to very few chances throughout the game – we didn’t have any, but a game at home to Raith Rovers is mightily more appealing to me than a game here at Stark’s Park, the replay a week on Tuesday should be an interesting game and obviously we will know by then, who we could play if we can win at Recreation Park. Raith Rovers are a good side, we respect that, we came here with a plan, it worked really well for us for the first 30 minutes that we didn’t lose an early goal, Dougie Hill got injured at a time when we would have changed it to a back four anyway, so that didn’t effect things too much, the sending off was disappointing, but the effort was tremendous, application tremendous and an unusual manner was our concentration which was tremendous and that has not been the case too often this season, we are pleased to be in the draw for the next round.
I anticipate Alloa Athletic will have a real go a week on Tuesday, it will be a completely different game from today, so I would expect us to have a real go at Raith Rovers and try and get at them, which we would have hoped to do late in the game today if we were still in it, but we didn’t get that opportunity. We all know Raith Rovers have a great threat up front with their three strikers, and I think Kevin Smith not playing today was a massive loss for Raith Rovers and a real boost for us I have to say, it will be a hard game a week on Tuesday, but it is one I feel we have a better chance than we did today.
We came with a plan to be defensively a lot better than at the start of the month when we lost 4-1, and the plan is that after an hour you are still in the game, unfortunately within that hour we had a player sent off, so that changes things, so it looks like that we came here for 90 minutes to pack the defence, that wasn’t the plan, the plan is to be defensively strong and ensure you are still in the game in the last 30 minutes and then have a go, on the bench we had Andy Ferguson, Jamie Stevenson, Dougie Wilson and Greig Spence, all attacking players to go on and win the game in the last 30 minutes, we just didn’t have that opportunity, unfortunately.