Alloa 29 April 2017 000bScorer: Cawley (90+4)

FORMER Stranraer man Kevin Cawley returned to haunt the Blues as his goal deep into injury time secured all three points for Alloa.

The game seemed destined to end in a goalless stalemate before Cawley's downward header flew past a helpless Cameron Belford.

One point would have been enough to see Stevie Farrell's men secure League One football but Stranraer's safety will, mathematically at least, have to wait for another week.

The manager made three changes with the injured duo of Craig Pettigrew and Kyle Turner missing out completely and Mark McGuigan dropping to the bench. That meant recalls for Ryan Thomson, Michael Donald and club captain Steven Bell, who had recovered from injury.

The visitors enjoyed plenty of success in the first half with Scott Agnew's acrobatic effort blocked in the opening ten minutes before Bell's shot was blocked and Agnew dragged the rebound off target.
Alloa 29 April 2017 000a
Former Stranraer man Scott Taggart was enjoying plenty of room down the right but Belford was relatively untested.

On the half hour mark, the Blues should have taken the lead through Donald. The midfielder got on the end of a cross from the left but Neil Parry pulled off an impressive save before the rebound was thumped over the bar.

It was not one-way traffic but it was certainly Stranraer who were creating the clearer cut chances and they should have gone into the break in front.

The early stages of the second half suggested it would be more of the same as a ball over the top saw Donald through on goal. The angle was tight but the midfielder still managed to smash a shot at Parry before Alloa cleared.

However, the Wasps were coming more into it and Greig Spence had already put one wide of target before the woodwork was rattled. Jordan Kirkpatrick was fully 30 yards out but his swerving drive had Belford beaten and cannoned back off the crossbar.

It was a warning, and the visiting defence was again stretched a few minutes later.

Stefan McCluskey was clean through on goal but the angle was tight and Belford matched the finish by getting a big hand to it to block the shot.
IMG 20170429 164613
Stranraer were pushing for a winner in the final ten minutes but it looked very much like the tie was going to finish goalless - a result good enough to keep the Stair Park side in the league.

However, there was to be one last twist when substitute Adam Martin danced free on the left and swung in a cross for the unmarked Cawley to run onto and nod home.

It was a sickener - one which perhaps summed up the club's season, with plenty of positives ultimately undone by one moment of slackness.

Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Waters, Marr, Graham, Holmes (Hetherington 70), Cawley, McCluskey (Martin 76), Spence (J Robertson 70), Kirkpatrick, Longworth.
Not used: Hynd, Hoggan, Cunningham and McDowall.

Stranraer: Belford, S Robertson, Dick, Barron, Neill, Bell, Agnew, Thomson, Gibson (Wilson 82), Malcolm (Kassarate 73), Donald (McGuigan 87).
Not used: Morena, Kemp and Currie.

Referee: Mat Northcroft
Attendance: 507
HT: 0-0

SPFL 3L1 6474

1 Arbroath 21 52
2 Raith Rovers 21 39
3 East Fife 21 35
4 Forfar Athletic 21 33
5 Airdrieonians 21 30
6 Montrose 21 28
7 Stranraer 20 23
8 Dumbarton 21
9 Brechin City 20 19
10 Stenhousemuir 21 16


2018/19 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Daniel Higgins (DEF)

3 - Chris McGowan (DEF)
4 - Andy McDonald (DEF)
5 - David Brownlie (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - Mark Lamont (MID)
8 - Kyle Turner (MID)
11 - Grant Anderson (M/S)
12 - Ian Smith (MID)

13 - Lyle Avci (GK)
14 - Cameron Elliott (MID)
17 - David Smith (D/M)
18 - Innes Cameron (STR)
20 - PJ Crossan (STR)

22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
24 - Conor O'Keefe (MID)