Alloa Athletic v Stenhousemuir at Recreation Park, Alloa on 14.11.09
Irn Bru Scottish Second Division Att 544
Alloa Athletic 1 [Buist 67], Stenhousemuir 4 [Molloy 22, Motion 34, Dalziel 37 and Scullion 74]
After the capitulation the previous week against Dumbarton John Coughlin sat the players down on the Tuesday to analyse what had went wrong by showing the horror show on DVD. This seemed to have the effect desired as the Warriors gave a more cohesive display against Alloa.
There were a couple of personnel chances as well as positional ones with Andy Brand and Willie Lyle coming back into the starting eleven as the Warriors tried to get back into winning ways. Not that it would be easy against a side that had beaten the then league leaders Stirling Albion in their last game.
The Warriors almost took the lead in the third minute when David Crawford the Alloa keeper had a poor kick out that landed at Pat Sculiion’s feet but his effort from distance was saved by Crawford who redeemed himself.
The majority of the early play however took place in the Stenhousemuir half of the pitch and Chris McCluskey made a decent save from a long range effort by David McClune. This was Alloa’s best spell of the game and McCluskey proved his worth as a shot stopper a minute later to thwart Brian Carrigan by tipping his dipping shot over the bar. Carrigan is one of the best strikers of the ball in the division and he came close once again in the 14th minute when his freekick looked goal bound only for McCluskey to come to Stenhousemuir’s rescue once again.
Stenhousemuir rarely threatened in the early stages but managed to absorb the pressure and they took the lead in the 22nd minute. Iain Thomson on the right flank squared to Kevin Motion who in turned picked out Craig Molloy who had timed his run to perfection and he stroked the ball past the helpless Crawford. Two minutes later Molloy almost doubled his tally when set free by Motion who played the ball behind the home defence trying to play the offside trap and Molloy making his run from midway took the ball into the danger area and although his effort went past the keeper went just the wrong side of the post. Alloa responded once again through Carrigan who was tripped on the edge of the box by Jordan Smith and the resultant freekick once again brought McCluskey into the play.
Alloa went two down in the 34th minute and once again the danger came from the right side of the pitch. This time there was a bit of luck to the build up as Scullion had an attempt on goal that went nowhere near the intended spot and instead fell at the feet of Kevin Motion who held off Mark Brown before tucking the ball into the net. It got even worse for the Wasps in the 38th minute after they failed to learn from their earlier failed attempt to set the offside trap and Willie Lyle played the ball behind the defence for Scott Dalziel to latch onto. Dalziel bore down on goal and although his effort was partly stopped by Crawford it still went into the net to put the Warriors three up.
Despite being three goals to the good at half time there was still a feeling of vulnerability at the start of the second period as Carrigan had a half volley well saved and Stuart Noble had a flick on from a corner cleared off the line by Willie Lyle. In the main however the Warriors stood firm with Alloa’s efforts effectively nullified by the crowding out of their players in the danger areas. Alloa had a number of corners that were effectively dealt with but they eventually scored from one effort when Andy Scott’s cross was played into the danger area by John Grant and Scot Buist scuffed his effort home and though Iain Thomson may have also got a touch it should be credited to Buist. This effort in the 67th minute could have seen the start of a fightback but the game was effectively finished in the 74th minute when Scullion was picked out at the back post and although his first effort was stopped by Crawford he netted the rebound. This killed the game off and it was Stenhousemuir who came closest to adding to their tally before the end through efforts from Molloy and Craig O’Reilly who had came on as a substitute.
Alloa Athletic – Crawford, McClune, McCafferty [Kerr 44], Buist, Walker, Brown [b49], Grant, Ferguson, Carrigan, Noble and Scott [b78]. Subs not used – Townsley, Carroll, Agnew and Hall
Stenhousemuir – McCluskey, Lyle [b78], S.Thomson, I.Thomson, Smith, McLeod, Molloy, Scullion [Stirling 83], Dalziel [O’Reilly 85], Brand and Motion. Subs not used – Love, Bradley and Bennett
Referee – Euan Norris Assistants – Billy Baxter and Dougie Potter