Paul Hartley’s innovative approach to management may have won him many admirers – possibly Inverness Caley Thistle amongst them – but it was an old head that ensured he celebrated success in his 100th match in charge of Alloa Athletic.
Having already won back-to-back promotions since taking over the Wasps in 2011, Hartley’s stock has risen with his team’s on-field efforts. This victory, courtesy of Andy Kirk’s 64th-minute strike, took them up to fourth in the table. “The 100th game is a milestone and it was a great three points,” said the manager.
In an encounter high on effort but low on the quality required to create meaningful chances, it was a swift counter attack of rare incisiveness that made the difference.
An astute ball out of defence from Jason Marr sent full-back Michael Doyle scampering up the right and his cross was neatly flicked into the path of Kirk and the 34-year-old tucked away the opportunity with aplomb.
For Raith, Grant Murray travelled to Alloa fresh from being awarded the manager of the month award for October, but November has been less kind, bringing consecutive defeats that could prove costly in his side’s title bid.