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Saturday February 25, 2017

Ladbrokes League One

Alloa Athletic




Andy Graham 4, 17


Iain Russell 22


Alloa moved five points clear in second place after Jim Goodwin’s side beat the Diamonds for the first time this season.

The home side benefitted from being quickly out of the traps and took the lead after four minutes.

A free kick by former Diamond Jordan Kirkpatrick was floated into the penalty area and defender Frank McKeown’s shot was well saved by Rohan Ferguson.

Fellow defender Andrew Graham was quickest to react and chipped the ball into the back of the net for an early lead.

Three minutes later a back post cross from Calum Waters picked out Greig Spence and his headed effort was just wide of the goal.

Spence was put through in behind the Airdrie defence a minute later but Ferguson made a decent save from his effort.

At the other end Iain Russell raced to the Alloa goal line and his cross into the middle saw Andy Ryan stretching to connect as he headed the ball over the bar with 12 minutes gone.

After 16 minutes Alloa doubled their lead when a short corner on the right led to Waters curled cross being headed into the net by Graham for his - and Alloa's - second goal.

Having weathered the storm Airdrie pulled a goal back in 22 minutes after a Kieran MacDonald cross saw Scott Stewart make contact but Russell finish off the move by sending the ball past Craig McDowall to narrow the deficit.

Andy Ryan had a couple of good efforts as Airdrie tried to get back on level terms.

Jack Leitch controlled a headed clearance to the edge of the penalty box in 36 minutes but sent his 20 yard shot just over the target.

Five minutes after the restart a strong run by Kyle Hutton took him to the edge of the box before sending a 25 yard shot well over the target.

Six minutes later a good run by Adam Brown down the left saw his front post delivery met by Andy Ryan, whose header was just wide of the front post.

As Airdrie tried to push the home side back, in 76 minutes MacDonald and Russell combined down the left and Russell’s ball across the face of goal was punched clear by keeper McDowall.

The home side were content to retain their advantage and a heavily congested midfield area led to Airdrie finding the home side hard to break down.

Alloa were content to manage the game out to take all three points.

John O'Brien at The Indodrill Stadium.

Photographs © John Steven. Click to view full-size.

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