September 23, 2022
SPFL Trust Trophy round 3
Conor Sammon 81
A late winner from substitute Conor Sammon stung the Diamonds as Alloa Athletic progressed in the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Manager Rhys McCabe took the opportunity to make a number of changes to the side which had beaten Clyde 5-0 last weekend, with Cammy Ballantyne, Dean McMaster, Ben Wylie, Calum Gallagher and Salim Kouider-Aïssa coming in for Callum Fordyce, Adam Frizzell, Callum Smith, Lewis Jamieson and Gabby McGill.
Former Diamonds goalkeeper Willie Muir was between the sticks for Brian Rice’s Wasps.
The first chance fell to the hosts, with a pinpoint pass sending Bradley Rodden through on goal, but as Alex Henderson narrowed the angle, the striker pulled his shot wide of the post.
Muir was in action after ten minutes, getting a hand on Kouider-Aïssa’s cross with Gallagher waiting to convert, and a minute later the strike partners combined again, Gallagher beating Muir to the ball this time but the keeper recovering well to make a superb block.
As Airdrie began to take control of the match, Euan Deveney was desperately unlucky after running down the left and cutting inside before curling a fine effort off the crossbar.
Ballantyne was also getting forward well, and Muir did well to hold the right-back’s 17th-minute shot in a crowded box.
Wylie came close to a goal-of-the-season contender two minutes later, rushing on to McMaster’s lofted pass and spinning to clip the ball over Muir, but unfortunately also clearing the bar.
Having weathered a good spell of pressure, Alloa threatened on 23 minutes, Buchanan firing over after King had intercepted Henderson’s kick-out.
Gallagher went close again with a spinning 25th-minute effort after controlling Charlie Telfer’s pass, and Justin Devenny fired just over four minutes later.
Muir gratefully clutched the ball before it could cross the line on 38 minutes as the Diamonds tried to force the advantage, with Kouider-Aïssa heading Devenny’s free-kick over the bar two minutes later.
Gallagher played a one-two with Devenny before firing over as half-time approached, and the last chance of an entertaining first half fell to Luke Donnelly, who peeled away at the back post and powered in a downward header which Henderson saved superbly.
A scrappier second 45 followed, with Rodden and Kouider-Aïssa exchanging early chances but both failing to hit the target.
Rodden could only find the side netting on 53 minutes after another clearance was closed down, with a headed flick from Telfer’s corner hooked off the line ten minutes later.
The match was disrupted by changes for both sides, but it was Alloa’s substitutes who injected some urgency into their play, forcing McMaster into a fine sliding block on 81 minutes.
The resultant corner could only be palmed out by Henderson under pressure, and as the keeper sprawled on the ground Sammon turned the loose ball home from close range.
The hosts had further chances on the break as Airdrie pushed for an equaliser, Henderson saving Kevin Cawley’s 85th-minute drive.
As Muir cut out Deveney’s stoppage-time cross, the Diamonds’ chances of a comeback came to an end, and it was hosts Alloa Athletic who progressed to the fourth round.
Stuart Mathie at The Indodrill Stadium.
Photos © John Steven. Click to view full-size.