Despite another improved performance, a solitary first half goal from ex-Clyde striker Brian Carrigan was enough to move Alloa Athletic to the top of the IRN-BRU Second Division.
With goalkeeper Calum Reidford suspended, trialist Andy McNeil started between the sticks. There was also a return for another of last season’s players as Marvyn Wilson came into the centre of midfield, whilst Adam Coakley came into the side in place of last week’s trialist, Willie McLachlan. Alloa, like so many sides in the division, included a variety of ex-Clyde players including a member of last year’s team, Mark Brown and two players from title-challenging sides, Mark Gilhaney and Brian Carrigan.
Alloa are widely tipped as likely title winners this season but it was the home team that started strongly and they could have netted within a couple of minutes of the kick-off. Robert Halliday floated a free-kick into the box that just eluded Alan Lithgow however, the ball did drop nicely for Paul McLeod. The ex-Alloa striker took a touch but was off balance as he got his shot away and the ball rolled past the post.
The first half was a reasonably entertaining affair and Alloa registered their first chance soon after. Carrigan’s set piece delivery was a consistent threat and from McNeil’s punch the ball dropped to Scott Buist on the edge of the six yard box but his powerful volley smacked against the crossbar.
Play moved from end to end and Clyde were next to threaten with probably their best chance of the match. A superb through ball by Jamie Doyle released Coakley through on goal but the striker didn’t ever look like scoring and his weak effort was blocked by David Crawford. Dave McKay also provided a good threat down the right hand side and on two occasions, crosses just eluded incoming attackers. The missed chances proved to be costly as within five minutes of Coakley’s miss, Alloa took the lead. Scott Agnew did well to cut inside and shoot but the lack of a strong challenge was disappointing. Although McNeil got down to tip the shot away, Carrigan reacted quickest to the loose ball and couldn’t miss the open goal.
Clyde were understandably rattled but were a bit unlucky not to get back level as Crawford did well to tip McLeod’s 20 yard drive onto the post. The Wasps were then bemoaning their lack of good fortune as Gilhaney thumped home a loose ball, only to discover the referee had awarded a free-kick for Scott Walker’s foul on McNeil. The final chance of the half fell to Mark Casey but his strike from the edge of the box curled neatly into Crawford’s hands.
Unfortunately, the half-time break gave Alloa the chance to regroup and the second half was a much quieter affair. Clyde chose to introduce Alan McFadden for Doyle and the change removed a fair amount of incisiveness from the Bully Wee’s passing. The main attempts on goal came from Carrigan’s excellent set-piece delivery but the home side showed an impressive amount of spirit to keep the scoreline at 1-0. McLeod always looked like Clyde’s most likely scorer and Crawford plucked his curling effort out of the air. The introduction of new signing Steven Odunewu for Coakley provided a burst of life and from his cross, the best chance of an equaliser fell to captain Paul Stewart but his weak strike struck McKay and bounced clear. In truth, the original effort probably wasn’t going in anyway. Alloa missed a chance to seal the three points when Hugh Kerr moved onto a through ball that eluded Lithgow but despite rounding McNeil, the substitute’s shot was blocked on the line by Casey. The final effort on goal came from another substitute, Jay Lang but his volley dipped over the bar and Alloa had their win.
Four games into the season and despite only having one point, there are signs every week that the team is improving. The re-introduction of Wilson gave a level of experience and quality to the midfield that has been missed, whilst full backs Park and Halliday stuck to their task well once more. The obvious problem is up front but hopefully if the chances continue to be created, eventually someone will step up and take them.
|Date||Time||League||Season||Full Time||Attendance||Report Author|
|August 29, 2009||3:00 pm||Scottish League One||2009-10||90'||773||David Worton|