Alloa through to face Brechin play-off

Alloa's Calum Waters scored the winning penalty. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Alloa's Calum Waters scored the winning penalty. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
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Alloa 1 - 0 Airdrieonians (agg 1-1, Alloa win 4-3 on pens)

Alloa Athletic finished the season ten points ahead of Airdrieonians in the league 
but it took the drama of penalties to separate the teams after three and a half hours of cup tie football.

In the end, two saves from Wasps keeper Neil Parry and a successful spot-kick from Calum Waters, pictured, took the home side into a final against Brechin City, with the prize of Championship football awaiting.

“I know penalties are a lottery,” said Alloa manager Jim Goodwin, “but I’m so, 
so proud. Wee Calum’s heart must have been racing and 
Neil Parry made two great saves.”

Alloa knew they had to come from behind in the tie after losing the first-leg to a solitary Andy Ryan strike in midweek and Ryan had the ball in the net again midway through the first-half but was flagged offside.

It was the Wasps who had 
the greater threat, though, as the encounter raged on.

Twice Rohan Ferguson 
in the Airdrie goal denied 
Alloa striker Dylan Mackin before the break and shortly after it Parry was the key figure as he tipped over from Iain Russell.

There was nothing probably any keeper could have done about the Wasps’ strike in the 51st minute as they drew level in the tie. The ball bounced invitingly 25 yards from goal and Jon Robertson arrowed a magnificent drive that flashed past Ferguson.

Greig Spence was then guilty of a remarkable miss, somehow scooping his shot against the bar and over from six yards out with just a defender on the line to beat after Jordan Kirkpatrick had seized on Simon Mensing’s short pass-back and rounded Ferguson.

Kirkpatrick came closest to winning it in extra-time but his free-kick clipped the outside of the post on its way past and, after Airdrie pair Iain Russell and Kieran MacDonald had their penalties saved and Steven Hetherington for Alloa missed, it was left to Waters to win it for the Wasps.

“It is a horrible way to lose,” admitted Airdrie manager Mark Wilson, “I feel sorry for the players.”