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Report: Alloa Athletic 0-1 St Mirren

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Report: Alloa Athletic 0-1 St Mirren
By Maryanne Orr at The Indodrill Stadium
Keith Watson’s 85th minute winner secured the three points for the Buddies against Alloa Athletic at the Indodrill Stadium.
It was St Mirren who pressed first in the game as they won a corner with only 45 seconds on the clock. However, the corner came to nothing and a follow up attack couldn’t find a finish.
Despite these chances, St Mirren couldn’t build on their early pressure and the game set into a scrappy state.
It took 20 minutes for St Mirren to register their first real attempt on goal and it was a speculative effort. Alex Cooper picked the ball up in midfield and took a shot from distance but it wasn’t enough to trouble Scott Gallacher in the Alloa goal.
Not long after, Alloa got their first effort on the board and it was a lot closer than the Saints’ shot. A free kick was whipped towards the back post and Douglas Hill rose highest to head towards goal but it hit the side netting.
With 30 minutes on the clock, St Mirren had a lengthy spell of possession which resulted in Calum Gallagher bursting forward but he was thwarted by the Alloa defence and the chance was gone.
Just before half time, good link up play between Lawrence Shankland and Scott Agnew allowed Cooper to curl the ball into the danger area where Wasps’ defender Jason Marr hooked out for a corner, almost putting the ball into the back of his own net.
Half-Time: Alloa Athletic 0-0 St Mirren
After the restart, it was Alloa who had the better of the play with the Saints under some worrying pressure.
Michael Duffy’s strike saw Jamie Langfield scramble the ball out for a corner. This was followed minutes later by a shot from Steven Hethrington which was fired over the bar.
The Buddies’ first shot of the second half came from Cooper after 51 minutes, as he fired in an effort from the edge of the penalty area. This was his last contribution to the match as he was replaced by Steven Thompson and Lewis Morgan was introduced for Scott Agnew.
Alloa came close to opening the scoring on the hour mark as a battle for the ball broke out in the St Mirren penalty box which in the end saw Keith Watson clear the ball off the line.
Langfield made a magnificent save to keep the score level with fifteen minutes left to play just before Jordan Stewart was replaced by Sean Kelly.
The breakthrough finally came with five minutes left on the clock. Morgan cut the ball back for Watson who found the right position in the box to slot his shot home securing the three points for the Saints.
Full-Time: Alloa Athletic 0-1 St Mirren
Alloa Athletic: Gallacher, McAusland, Hill, Hamilton, Marr, Duffy, Holmes (Ferns 87), Flannigan, Hetherington, Megginson, R. Crawford.
Subs Not Used: Caddis, McManus, Layne, Hoggan, Wilson, D. Crawford (GK).
St Mirren: Langfield, Webster, Carswell, Mallan, Agnew (Morgan 54), Watson, Gallagher, Shankland, Irvine, Cooper (Thompson 55), Stewart (Kelly 74).
Subs Not Used: Goodwin, Howieson, Baird, Willison (GK).
Referee: Mat Northcroft.
Assistant Referee: Andy Milne.
Assistant Referee: Chris Phillips.
Attendance: 753 (TBC St Mirren fans)
St Mirren manager, Alex Rae said after the match: “It was a very difficult game and I have to commend Alloa, they made it a very tough encounter, particularly in the second half.
“And the wonderful save by Jamie, he kept us in the game. We kept plugging away and I’m pleased we managed to get the three points in the end. It was a tough afternoon.”
Commenting on scorer Keith Watson, he added: “He’s got a killer instinct in and around the box and at that stage we were still chasing the game. Young Lewis [Morgan] kept the attack alive which is important when you are in and around the box and it was a composed finish by Keith.”
Match report and match gallery pictures by Allan Picken – © Allan Picken Photography.

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