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  1. To make nine changes to the team and the levels not to drop is really encouraging. Second half we dominated a strong Airdrie side and should've had a few more goals. I know the visitors played a bit better in the first half but that was still a half where we should've had a few goals again, Rodden and Donnelly in particular. Thought we were excellent throughout. I like how the manager doesn't wait till we are one down to change the formation and moving Buchanan and McLaren definitely helped, especially the latter's, game. None of them looked out of place. Same could be said for Miller who I thought was very good, was a big night for him to make a mark and he did himself no wrong with that performance. Donnelly is an intelligent player too, always in the pocket amd available as an option, I like that. Not as intelligent as the magician, Scougall. Ninety minutes under his belt and looked good with it. A fina lchange worth highlighting is Muir. Swap our goalkeeper and no real notable downgrade, although I prefer Hogarth's distribution, Muir was still good at that and just further emphasises the quality in-depth. Thougtht we were going to get hit on the sucker punch but credit to big Sammo, another important goal for us. We deserved that. We've managed to make all these changes and not break the momentum the team is building, four wins on the bounce is superb and definitely a different narrative to post-Edinburgh game. It is nice to be in the next round too, a favourable draw would be good. Speaking to Sparky this week reminded me of the good memories you can get if you get far in this competition. It is more the initial first rounds, that maybe are mid-week with a changed side that are the hardest to get through.
  2. 4-0 up after 15 minutes. Boys are very impressive.
  3. 2 loan spaces left and a month or so to fill it. Very much doubt that we are done.
  4. Not what we expected, as everyone has suggested. That season at Queen’s Park where he grabbed 8 goals is probably his highlight and what we will be hoping for. It’s another option for us and gives us some experience off the bench, as opposed to the young guns. Hard to judge him at Championship level, big gap in terms of scoring goals between the leagues. Spence the prime example! Hope Donnelly doesn’t spell the end of the squad incomings, so let’s just wait and see.
  5. As convincing and as pleasing an afternoon as we could’ve wished for. Totally flawless. Starting at the back, who were rarely troubled, nice to see Hogarth get his first clean sheet. Graham was superb stepping in last minute. Head like a magnet! Stanger got his well deserved goal too. Midfield was where I took most pleasure from. O’Donnell was absolutely magnificent. I’ve never been quite on the hype train but today he was playing with so much enjoyment and his deliveries answered my question of getting numbers. The manager said he is a confidence player, I hope today he can kick on and cement himself. He’s wasted on the wing as a full back, totally controlled the midfield. Robbo looked back to his old self too and relished the battle. Going forward we were good too. Rodden busy and rewarded with his goal. Sammon playing with a lot of confidence too and scoring freely. I know we need another up there but it makes a difference knowing Sammon is on the goal trail. Delighted for him. The front line linked up and the through balls and assists were as good as the finishes. Can’t not mention Luke Rankin. A fairytale story. Hat-trick for the u20’s last night, senior debut and first goal today. He’ll be absolutely buzzing. We can’t get carried away with that, I know we won’t. That is one of the worst League 1 sides I have ever seen. McInally post match comments, which I’m unsure will be printed, were very damning. They will struggle to pick up points this season. Too much change, not enough quality. The big new boy up top Cristiano looks like he’s got his work cut out, not sure he showed today he is up to it. They look so young and inexperienced, it’s a shame. Can’t see them finishing anything other than rock bottom. However, for us, it’s brought us right back into the pack. Spoke to some of the players before the game today and they said a win today and a win up at Clyde totally changes the mindset on the opening of the season. Still a long way from that but he was right. Two of the hardest away games in Dunfermline and Airdrie, and a freak game against Edinburgh. Let’s hope this is the confidence booster we needed going into some tricky away games next few weeks. No doubt we will have some new chances to help us in that too.
  6. Had some looking back to last season’s transfers and it really does emphasise the need for a bit of calmness. Euan Henderson wasn’t signed until the start of September and didn’t making his goal-scoring debut until September 11th. PJ and Ross too came a bit after the January window and under Brian Rice. Alloa have never finished their business by the 20-something of August. Sure the Prem teams are waiting for their window to shut end of this month and then, like every other team, we will be chomping at the bit for the top loans.
  7. Probably one of the hardest fixtures we could get after a disappointing day last Saturday against Edinburgh. After Chipper's interview post-Edi, I expect some changes. Taggart more naturally on the right and Church, who was positive when he came on, being the first of those. Wouldn't be surprised to see Graham drop to the bench and go to a more traditional back 4. Been a worrying few weeks with Scougall with two different injuries stopping him finishing the game. Didn't seem the same optimism in the presser that he will be fit for Saturday but we do know the manager loves his mind games and leaving us on edge. If he is fit, he starts, of course. If not, gives the opportunity for Adam King or Bradley Rodden. I would take a point now, to be honest. Interesting to see above that Airdrie think we have caused problems in the past, maybe at home, but I don't remember too many great days out away to Airdrie. Need to be more resolute at the back and gain some confidence for Hogarth and his backline. Our strikers aren't going to grab tons of goals, so it is imperative we start to feel solid and confident at the back.
  8. As much as I agree with some parts of the above, especially Taggart on the right, I don't really agree with this. Muir signed as No.2 and Hogarth has been signed as No. 1 IMO. You don't take these players on loan from the Old Firm and sit them on the bench. Firstly, it would cost an extra little fortune, and secondly, he wouldn't be here if that was the case. We have to appreciate we have a young keeper in the net and with the manager wanting to play a certain style, unfortunately these mistakes will happen. Let's not forget his heroics only a few weeks back. He will only improve. Muir is a good goalkeeper but he hasn't started a competitive game of football since last October, and has spent a bit of time on the bench of both Queen's Park and Airdrie in recent years. An excellent back-up and someone who will feel he can push Hogarth all the way, however, I can only see Muir being No.1 if Hogarth's loan was cut. It's been a shame the way Muir's Alloa career has started but he will play his role.
  9. I wondered what that thud was when Durnan went off! Has to have been pre-arranged with the knock he had, with the injuries too it settled our back four with Taggart going back to his natural position, which he showed how good he is with the second goal. Was good to see Durnan, Stanger and Graham all on though. A strong line-up. I thought we deserved our victory yesterday. Game opened up in a strange way with the goal but we had a good few chances in the first half, King's header was a glorious opportunity. Second half, despite being disrupted at the start, was a lot more open and that is where that Rodden sub worked a treat. He worked so hard and was a right nuisance, most importantly two striker's finishes. Always good to see. I'm not sure if he starts next week, I wouldn't be against it but I would wonder if it was perfect timing to bring that side of the game as we opened up the defence a little bit. Sammon and MacIver's link-up was fairly decent. Was a shame we let the clean sheet slip but as the manager says, the cross shouldn't come into the box. Thought Kelty were poor. Plenty of the ball but no real threat. Of course, Austin and Higginbotom coming back makes them stronger but just felt the boy Docherty cut a very isolated and lonely figure all game. Foster and Jamieson a bit ropey too. Agyeman the stand-out, we did get to grips with him but he was a threat. Good to get off the mark yesterday and get three points on the board nice and early, after last weekend's close dissapointment too. Massive game next week too that we should definitely be looking to take three points from too. Sounds like Scouggs might be ok but that is massive. Getting Taggs back on the right too would make a big difference.
  10. This will be a hard game and I am sure Dunfermline will be a bit rallied after being boo'ed off at the weekend. We have a decent record at EEP, so we just need stick to the plan. Weathered a lot of storms on Saturday and I am sure the likes of Hogarth and co. will have to play similar to Saturday. Jon Robertson got to start for us, game changer when he came on at the weekend. Allowed Scougall to play with more freedom and Robbo was just so calm to collect the ball at any moment, as well as stick the foot in. Like you guys, would hope to see some new faces in this or next week. On top of that, hope to see the likes of Durnan and Howie potentially near return to the squad to bolster the options. Glad to hear Hamilton is suspended for the Pars as thought he was their best player. Chalmers when he came on, penalty miss aside, offered a lot less, so if it is him that gets the nod, it definitely weakens Dunfermline. I didn't think they played badly on Saturday, especially down that right hand side with O'Hara and Comrie they caused us all sorts of problems, Church was having a hard day at the office until Robbo came on. Was strange when they changed everything at the equaliser as still thought they were the better team at that moment. Feels weird to have a carbon copy of the fixture a week later, hope it doesn't fall in favour of Dunfermline with that extra bit of motivation to get one back after the reaction of their supporters on Saturday.
  11. We showed a real different side of us today and great to see us rewarded in the end. Jay Hogart has to get the first mention. Some real eye-catching stops to keep us in it, he looks like a real astute bit of business. His whole defence were pretty heroic today too. That passage of play when the ball was cleared off the line four times was unbelievable. Have to say Stanger has gone from strength to strength in this Cup campaign, hope it continues. The real game changer of the afternoon for me was Rodden off for Robertson. Delighted he is back. Rodden had a hard task up front and was chasing a lot of lost causes. Robertson came on and dictated that game. Always available, simple passes right, hard tackles, everywhere on their park and even hit one or two screamers. His presence allowed Scougall to have so much more freedom, was a joy to watch him at times in the second half. Have to agree with above. Subsitutes were the right ones at the right time for us, not so much Dunfermline. King can find himself hard done by not to be starting but did his job when he came on. McLaren coming on was needed for Kev, good to see him getting some more minutes. Few shaky moments but all part of the process. It is really ecnouraging to see some young boys break through - been a while! Sammo and MacIver put in a lot of effort too and happy for Sammo to get his goal after Tuesday. All in all, it has been a good campaign for him and he has already equalled his goal tally from last season! It isn't rocket science to say we still need a goalscorer. Both good and do a job but worry about that 15/20 goal man up top. Plenty positives to take from today and bodes well going into League 1, and of course next week. Always going to be hard to compete with a club like that over a full season but we can definitely compete. Nice to be back at EEP too, and nice to continue or decent record there!
  12. Disappointing not to take anything last night as there was plenty of opportunities to do so. Probably our strongest performance so far in the Premier Sports Cup. Ross County started strong and moved it about well. Their two wingers were causing Church and young McLaren all sort of problems. They are quality players though, so no slight on us for that. The goal though is so cheap and like mentioned above is really poor defending, not much excuse for the space and time a player of Sims size has in the six-yard box. Have to agree, it wasn't Church's greatest night. Plenty of opportunity to cross and most evaded any Alloa attackers. Church wasn't alone in that though. Was surprised to see Sammo step up ahead of the likes of Taggs. However, when your hat-trick striker says he wants the penalty, he gets it. He won't be on the next one, that is for sure! Frustating night for the big man after the highs of Saturday. Hopefully doesn't dwell on it too much. Plenty of positives to take from that. Jay Hogarth looked solid. Agree with the above regarding Murray Miller growing in this role and looking for tidy. Stand out for me was George Stanger though. He looked shaky game one or two of the friendlies, however, very comfortable now. Won pretty much everything, good pace tracking back and really confident driving the ball out dribbling. Impressed by him. We won't come up against a team of that quality every week so there is definitely room for optimism. Kevin Cawley coming back in made us a lot better, same with Stef Scougall too. Hopefully this trend continues when the likes of Jon Robertson coming back. Reckon he could really be the glue of that midfield and hopefully limit the amount we are going long. Still a body or two short, goals most notably but hopefully the boys get the rub of the green soon. Rodden tries hard and is energetic, hopefully goals come for him. Be interesting to see how we approach Saturday, I am sure a few of the team are pretty tired after a gruelling pre-season and cup schedule. All the priority has to be on a week on Saturday.
  13. Those highlights are just 7 minutes of Andy Graham raging ... Players a bit goosed with so many friendlies and agree with everything said above. Onto the semi-real stuff tomorrow!
  14. Reckon we could do a lot worse than tie up yesterday’s trialist, Muir, in goals. Experienced at this level and a steady head. Even if it is until we wait for the main target. Rice said last season importance of two senior keepers, why not secure him and have him as a No. 2 thereafter? Did at QP. Who knows how long we’ll be waiting and with the first cup game a week on Tuesday, think it’d be ok business. Even if it was short-term. Have missed the last few friendlies (Stirling and Forfar) due to Covid, however, agree with all above. Good to see goals but not up against much. Rodden is an interesting one and he has certainly warranted his deal. He seems very raw, as you would expect, but extremely enthusiastic. He’s got a bit of pace and seems to know where the back of the net is. Bit of a wild card signing, happy with it. Could do with some more though and would imagine most will come from the loan market after this cup group stage is completed. With no knowledge here, purely my own opinion, it does look like we are working on a smaller budget by some from last season after it was all blown on a failed *experiment*.
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