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14/04/24

ALLOA ATHLETIC 0-0 MONTROSE

A vital game for both clubs in a bid to book a play-off spot and both teams set out to make no mistakes and give the game away. That is how it started and that’s how it finished.

Alloa looked more of a threat going forward but the Montrose defence stood firm and possession was about even and so were the corner counts and the bookings for each side. Montrose had marginally more shots at goal however and really should have won it near the end of the game.

The Mo started with a strong looking starting eleven as did Alloa with big Conor Sammon up front who can tie up a game given a single chance but the Mo defence were well aware of that and dealt with it.

Referee Colin Whyte got it started on a windy day but dry most of the day and both teams got the ball to the other end as quickly as possible. Montrose had two quick corners one of which came to Steeves but his cross was held by keeper Morrison. Hester was next to have a run at the Wasps defence but his shot under pressure was collected by Morrison.

Meanwhile Alloa were moving the ball down the flanks but unsuccessfully then a Gardyne free kick ended in another corner for the Mo which wind assisted hit the top of the crossbar and over.

Ten minutes gone and Alloa exerted more pressure – a long shot was snuffed out by Graham and then Coulson had a good chance in the 6-yard box from a right wing cross but the Mo scrambled it away. Back it came again and the Wasps were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out in a dangerous place with the gusty wind but keeper Gill collected safely. Another corner for Montrose saw the ball hoofed away by Alloa who were awarded another free-kick 30 yards out and again in a dangerous place but Steeves headed clear then Graham cleared it upfield again. Brown collected it from Lyons who did well but the shot went wide.

The first yellow card went to Coulson who was alleged to have dived in the area as we held our breath until the referee made his decision. The game moved to half-time with 50/50 possession, Alloa swept the ball across the Mo 6-yard box but there were no takers, then Hester hit a shot straight at Morrison, Gardyne was yellow carded for a foul when going for a 50/50 ball and he almost scored on the stroke of half-time as keeper Morrison spilled the ball but no Mo player was close enough to take advantage.

No changes for the second half with Montrose having another fruitless corner and Alloa had two fruitless corners the second of which resulted in a melee in the Mo box but ended in a free-kick to Montrose. Play continued from end to end with both defences on top and determined not to make a mistake as it became clear a single goal would most likely be final.

Shrive was replaced by Machado on 65 minutes and his freshness started to make a good impression in midfield. Brown went down the left and crossed but somehow the ball ended up underneath the crossbar and was cleared. Gardyne set up Hester but the Wasps defender did well with a good tackle on the run. On 70 minutes Montrose had the ball in the Alloa net but Lyons was adjudged to have handled it in getting around the keeper and it was disallowed. Alloa made their first change on 73 minutes as Sammon was replaced by Buchanan.

Into the last 10 minutes, Alloa went close but keeper Gill made the save look easy as the Wasps exerted pressure to try for a winning goal. A second change brought on Williamson for Hester as Montrose shored up the defence and Webster moved up top to do the same for Montrose.

Two more corners for Alloa and a shot went well wide before the best chance of the game went to Montrose as Brown went clear but keeper Morrison saved the day – it was a good chance and the last piece of action saw a free-kick to Alloa on the edge of the Montrose area when Gardyne was alleged to have fouled but it was clearly an incorrect decision as the lad clearly slipped on a wet surface but the kick was wasted and the game ended in a 0-0 draw which was probably a fair result.

Report by Steve Doyle