Alloa Athletic v Stenhousemuir at Indodrill Stadium, Alloa on 14.11.20
Betfred Cup Sectional Match
Alloa Athletic 4 [Buchanan 64,70pen,78 Hetherington 90] Stenhousemuir 2 [Graham 33, Spence 37 pen]
Alloa Athletic – Willison, Malcolm, Graham, Jamieson, Williamson, O’Donnell, Murray [Hetherington 60], Brown, Scougall, Buchanan and Evans [Grant 61]
Subs not used– Dick, Cawley, Taggart, Lynch, Trouten and Thomson
Stenhousemuir – Martin, Grigor, Muir, McQueen, Yeats [Watters 76], Hodge, Graham [Halleran 67], Blair [b76], Tapping, McGuigan and Spence.
Subs not used– Erskine, Brown, Shiels, Fairley and Biabi.
Referee – Grant Irvine Assistants – Andrew McWilliam and David Dunne
The Warriors were forced into several changes for this game with Jonathan Tiffoney having tested positive for covid, Creag Little isolating and Andy Munro suspended the manager had to shuffle the defence. The solution was a back three of 18 year olds Josh Grigor and Chris McQueen who were supported by Tommy Muir who dropped back from the forward line. Callum Yeats and Jack Hodge who are both 19 fell back to help out as and when required whilst up front Cammy Graham who is 18 kept his place in a relatively young side.
Alloa rested some of their regular starters and three players were in the first eleven for the first time this season. The home side still had a very good chance to qualify for the knockout stages with a victory so this was a gamble by manager Peter Grant.
In the opening half of the game the Warriors were well on top throughout the proceedings showing their intent from the start with a Hodge shot in the opening minute but it lacked pace and was comfortably gathered by the keeper Reece Willison. He was to be kept busy and made a number of saves from Mark McGuigan and Cammy Graham as well as recovering from a poor kick out to save a first time effort by Greg Spence. In the 28th minute a Callum Tapping slide rule pass split the defence and Graham rounded the keeper but couldn’t get his shot on target.
It looked as if they would fail to be rewarded for their efforts but they eventually made the breakthrough when a Graham strike was delected off Adam Brown and into the net after 33 minutes. The Warriors increased their lead four minutes later when Spence converted a penalty kick after he had been tripped by Liam Evans. It was Brown looking to make amends for his misfortune who came closest for the home side with a driven shot that Paddy Martin saved at full stretch.
It looked comfortable for the visitors at that stage but this was definitely a game of two halves as Alloa showed their qualities in the second half with the veteran Liam Buchanan upstaging the youngsters with a second half hat trick. His first came in the 64th minute when he took advantage of poor defending at a corner kick to head in at the back post, the second came from the penalty spot after Hodge tripped Lucas Williamson and the third in the 78th minute was fortunate to say the least as Martin miss-punched a Cameron O’Donnell cross and it hit Buchanan’s back and went in. That was not to be the end of the scoring as Alloa sealed victory in the 90th minute when a Steven Hetherington strike took a slight deflection to steer it away from the keeper and into the net as they did manage to qualify for the latter stages.
This was ultimately a harsh score-line but despite the result there were plenty of positives to take from the game.
|November 14, 2020||3:00 pm||Betfred Cup||2020/21||90'|