Ladbrokes League 1
Saturday 21st October
Alloa Athletic 4 (Crossan 25’, Hetherington 45’, Graham 60’, Flannigan 74’)
East Fife 1 (Wilkie 8’)
Alloa Athletic XI: Parry, Robertson, Taggart, Graham, Crane, Cawley (Cook 81’), Flemming, Hetherington, Flannigan, Malcolm (Renton 68’), Crossan (Martin 81’)
Subs: Wilson, Goodwin
East Fife XI: M Hurst, Dunsmore, Piggott, Docherty, Slattery, Flanagan (Wilson 66’), Willis, Millar, G Hurst (Smith 66’), Wilkie, Duggan (Reilly 83’)
Subs: Goodfellow, Lamont, Mutch
Referee: Mike Roncone
East Fife travelled to the Indodrill Stadium to face Alloa Athletic but it was the hosts who claimed all three points following a 4-1 win. Manager Darren Young made three injury-enforced changes to the side that produced the stunning comeback against Albion Rovers last time out with Chris Kane, Craig Watson and Scott Linton missing out and being replaced by Kyle Wilkie, Paul Willis and new loan-signing 18-year-old Jordan Piggott, signed from Dundee prior to kick off.
East Fife were in front inside 8 minutes when Wilkie turned his man and unleashed an unstoppable strike past Alloa ‘keeper Neil Parry – his first goal since February 2016. Aside from the goal, the opening 20 minutes were devoid of any real chances; Willis tried his luck from 25-yards at one end but couldn’t find the target before Kevin Cawley had a shot blocked by Piggott at the other the only chances of note during the early exchanges.
Alloa were level on 24 minutes when Mark Hurst spilled Jon Robertson’s cross from the right leaving Paul Joseph Crossan an easy tap in. The goal failed to dent East Fife’s confidence and it was the visitors who continued to create opening in front of goal. Chris Duggan had a shot blocked from close range before last-weekend’s goal-hero Greg Hurst’s shot from 15-yards was narrowly wide of the right-hand post with Parry beaten. The visitors were hit with a sucker-punch on the stroke of half-time however when Steven Hetherington’s free kick from the right-hand touchline evaded everyone and crept into the bottom left-hand corner.
East Fife started the second half on the front foot with Nathan Flanagan spurning two opportunities in front of goal albeit neither of the clear-cut chances before the visitors were hit with a second sucker-punch on the hour mark when Andy Graham fired past Hurst from close range. East Fife protested believing Graham to be in an offside position but referee Mike Roncone wasn’t interested – replays have so far been inconclusive.
Iain Flannigan wrapped up the points for the home side 15 minutes from time with a free kick which found the top left-hand corner. The game largely petered out after that with the home side content to keep position without causing any further threat. East Fife had one final opportunity 5 minutes from time but Piggott header from substitute Kevin Smith’s cross was straight at Parry.
A game that is difficult to sum up. East Fife played well in spells but defensive errors again proving costly.