2 - 1Full Time
There could be few complaints as Alloa Athletic progressed to the next round of this season’s Homecoming Scotland Scottish Cup to set up a home tie against Premier League side, Aberdeen. After a game of few chances at Stark’s Park, Alloa knew they had a good chance in the replay at Recreation Park. The first half was again a poor affair, but in the second half Alloa took the game to Raith Rovers but as so often has happened, they lacked the killer punch in front of goal. Against the run of play Raith Rovers broke the deadlock, a hopeful ball into the Alloa box was not headed far enough out of the box and Gary Wales scored from 12 yards. Raith had their best spell of the game before Alloa Athletic scored twice within two minutes, substitute Andy Ferguson’s header came back off the right hand post and Brown Ferguson knocked the equaliser in. Two minutes later Jamie Stevenson was pulled down as he tried to burst into the box, Brown Ferguson took the free kick , curling a glorious shot in off the crossbar to set up a fourth round tie against Aberdeen on Saturday 10th January, 2009 at Recreation Park.
allan maitland after progression over raith
Obviously, I know people were disappointed we dug in the first game and didn’t make it an open game, the importance again tonight for the first 45 minutes was just to make sure we were still in the game, I thought there was nothing in the first half, it was a pretty drab affair in many ways but there is no doubt in the second half I thought we were the better team from the start and Raith Rovers scored against the run of play and then they had a 15 minute spell it could have gone 2-0 rather than 1-1 I thought I had made a couple of substitutions and it took 10 minutes or so for them to get into the game. We showed great character to get back in the game, great run from John Grant, great cross and Andy Ferguson was there to win the header, it helps having a centre forward in the box trying to win headers, for all the play we had we never had a real presence in front of goal and Bombers done great to follow it in, the second goal was a great piece of play my Jamie Stevenson, trying to burst into the box and he was pulled down, great free kick from Brown Ferguson, it was a free kick I was expecting Jamie to hit I must say, but it was a great free kick from Bomber and over the piece I felt we deserved it, I thought our second half was much more open, which is obviously what John wanted us to do, and having done that I thought we were the better team in the second half. It has been a good day for us, people talk about the incentive of Aberdeen in the next round, we can’t think of any of that because we were playing again a really good Raith Rovers side although I do think they miss something when Kevin Smith is not available, but for our point of view we like to play them here, we do well against them and I think that showed again tonight. I think Raith will be disappointed in their display in the first game but tonight we were the better team and deserved to win the tie in my opinion. I thought the criticism after the first game was unwarranted, having lost 4-1 there at the start of the month, if we had went to Kirkcaldy and opened up we could have got beaten, the importance of the first game was to make sure we were still in the tie, and after an hour had Pat Scullion not been red carded we had Andy Ferguson, Jamie Stevenson and Dougie Wilson all on the bench to bring into the game and that was the plan, Pat getting sent off scuppered that plan and then we had no intentions of coming out after that and we were determined to hang on in and bring Raith Rovers back to Alloa, but tonight we were much more open and more attack minded, it was a great opportunity to win playing at home and we were determined to take that. The next round will be a great game for the fans and also for me coming from Aboyne, it’s a good game for Alloa Athletic Football Club and that’s the most important thing and hopefully between now and then we can put a bit of form together, we were excellent on Saturday against East Fife, we need to take tonight’s result into the game against Ayr United this Saturday, it’s a big game for us.