Stenhousemuir 0 v 2 Alloa Athletic
Played at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on Saturday, 23rd January 2010 at 15:00
Stenhousemuir v Alloa Athletic at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 23.01.10
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 554
Stenhousemuir 0 Alloa Athletic 2 [Ferguson 14, Prunty 25]
Another disappointing performance at home by the Warriors who were undone by an Alloa side who picked up points for the first time this season against the home side. Throughout the game Alloa were the more threatening with Brian Prunty on his Alloa debut after signing from Ayr United leading the line well. Having said that the Alloa goals were soft to say the least and were a very worrying trend for the Stenhousemuir management as was the lack of goal scoring opportunities at the other end.
Alloa threatened first in the 9th minute when Stuart Noble turned Jordan Smith before firing in a shot that was saved by Chris McCluskey but ballooned into the air but Brian Prunty was to be denied from close range by a Chris McLeod clearance though referee George Salmond thought that the Alloa player had the final touch.
It was not long until Alloa took the lead though McCluskey was caught in possession and although McLeod cleared the initial danger the Wasps converted the resultant penalty when Andrew Scott’s corner was played into Brown Ferguson who converted from close range. The Warriors were all at sea at this stage and Alloa almost got their second in the 17th minute when Prunty had an effort cleared off the line after Stenhousemuir once again gave away possession in the danger area.
Stenhousemuir were struggling to get into the game but they almost equalised in the 22nd minute when an Iain Thomson freekick was headed just wide of the target by Jordan Smith.
Once again the defensive frailties of the Stenhousemuir were shown up when Alloa extended their lead in the 25th minute when Prunty chipped the ball over McCluskey after hesitation in the Stenhousemuir ranks.
The game was effectively finished at this juncture though the home side came close to sneaking a goal in the 40th minute when Scott Dalziel and Iain Thomson both tested the Alloa rearguard and when the ball fell to Sean Welsh his well struck effort was tipped round the post by David Crawford. From the corner Dalziel headed off target from close range.
For much of the first half Alloa had controlled the game and they ended the half on top with Prunty bringing out a brilliant save from McCluskey in the last minute
At the start of the second half Stenhousemuir rung the changes with Iain Diack and Craig Molloy replacing Kevin Bradley and Iain Thomson respectively. Barely had the half started though when Diack had to leave the field to be replaced by Robert Love. The home side’s tale of woe continued when they were reduced to ten men in the 54th minute when Welsh was stretchered off the pitch.
After this the game was a fairly even affair although Alloa seemed to be quite happy to settle in the main for a two goal victory. Having said that they should have increased the lead in the 70th minute following an amazing scramble in the box with the ball hitting the bar and great stops on the line by the Stenhousemuir defence with at least five efforts by the Wasps coming close to scoring.
Stenhousemuir were still struggling to get attacking moves into operation though the tussle between the two Scott’s Dalziel and Walker saw both of them spoken to on a couple of occasions by the referee. The best chance of the half fell to Chris McLeod who met a Love ball behind the defence but his effort failed to test Crawford.
As the game drew to a close it was just a case of seeing time out but with no less than eight minutes stoppage time the agonises of the Stenhousemuir ranks were prolonged longer than many could bear.
This game continued a troubling run for Stenhousemuir and does not bode well for the cup tie against Dunfermline as they will need to play much better than this to prevent another humiliating defeat at the hands of the Pars
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle [b72], S.Thomson, McLeod, Smith, Currie, Welsh, I.Thomson [Molloy h/t], Dalziel, Bradley[Diack h/t][Love 47] and Motion.
Subs not used - Bennett, and Scullion
Alloa Athletic – Crawford, McClune, Bloom, Townsley, Walker, Brown [Kerr 90], Grant [Connell 70], Ferguson, Prunty [Gormley 67], Noble and Scott [b45].
Subs not used - Hall and Buist,
Referee – George Salmond
Assistants – Andy Tait and Stuart MacMillan
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