By Anthony Evans @anthonyevans97
Alloa host Ayr tomorrow at the Indodrill Stadium, knowing that a win could kickstart their season.
Three points for Ayrshire side, on the other hand, could be enough to see them lead the pack in the Scottish Championship.
Early season form
Peter Grant’s side currently sit eighth after five league games on four points, with a sole win coming at Queen of the South at the end of August. The Wasps were however competitive in last week’s 2-1 defeat to Dundee at Dens Park, missing a second-half penalty.
The visitors are on a three-match winning streak that has seen them fly right up the league table. Ayr are level on points with leaders Dundee United, having beaten them 2-0 in a solid display last week at Somerset.
Alloa should have a fully fit squad to pick from tomorrow, with goalkeeper Neil Parry and midfielder Blair Malcolm the only absentees through injury.
Experienced Premiership goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald has been brought in to replace Parry, and his performance at Dundee last week showed that he is more than capable of filling that void.
Ian McCall’s Ayr are still without numerous first team players, with Andy Murdoch recently being ruled out for the entire season after tearing his ACL.
Brian Roach, writer of the Fan’s View column in the official Alloa match programme says he is satisfied with his side’s start to the campaign, but feels like they could have done better.
He said: “Alloa tend to start the season slowly, particularly in this campaign when the manager arrived fairly late in the pre-season preparation. At Dens Park last week we missed a penalty that would have seen us draw level, and the onus would have then been with us to try and win the game.
“But overall the points tally of four as it stands I’d say is reasonably fair.”
“His tactical knowledge is clearly substantial”
Roach then spoke about how pleased he has been with new manager Peter Grant, who replaced Jim Goodwin who left the club for Premiership side St Mirren.
He added: “It’s early stages for Peter, but I’ve been impressed with what he has done so far. We held a Q and A session with him last month and his tactical knowledge is clearly substantial as is his coaching experience at the top level.
“He’s made a few tweaks to Jim Goodwin’s methods and despite a few teething problems the players appear to be responding well.”
Roach then looked forward to tomorrow’s clash with Ayr, and despite his admiration of opposition manager Ian McCall and the work he has done on the West Coast, he anticipates that the game could be tight.
He said: “I think the games between us are usually close, and there’s been a few crackers in the past couple of seasons. I’m very impressed with Ian McCall has done in terms of their progression last season. They lost their star player in Lawrence Shankland over the summer but they haven’t really missed a step.
“There’s no reason why they can’t finish as high as third. Alloa will run them close, but I’d consider a point to be a really decent result.”
Kick off is at 3pm on Saturday 21st September 2019 from the Indodrill Stadium in Alloa in the Ladbrokes Championship.