Peter Grant’s irrefutable coaching pedigree includes formative spells at West Ham, Norwich, Scotland and Celtic. Promotions, great escapes and an FA Cup final against Liverpool litter a top-level CV.
However, the vastly experienced manager is adamant Alloa Athletic’s dauntless display against Dunfermline represents his proudest moment in the dug-out, with the part-timers forced to overcome a swathe of injury concerns to claim a comprehensive triumph.
Grant, 54, revealed that he was unable to name his starting line-up until an hour before kick-off at East End Park as he kept his fingers crossed that skipper Andy Graham and talisman Alan Trouten would be available.
Neither men were able to feature.
Kevin O’Hara did play through the pain barrier – and was rewarded for doing so – while midfielder Jon Robertson filled in at right-back.
With the fates seemingly conspiring against them, Alloa could have been forgiven for wilting when Kevin Nisbet’s clinical header after 20 minutes gave the Pars what was, at that point, a richly-merited lead.
Instead, the Wasps produced an immediate double salvo of their own, with Adam Brown and O’Hara slamming home low drives following defensive slip-ups by goalkeeper Ryan Scully and Lewis Martin respectively.
Iain Flannigan made the game safe from the penalty spot in the second period after Nisbet went from hero to villain by hauling down Robertson.
The unlikely victory sees rock-bottom Alloa move to within two points of Morton and ends a five-game winless streak in sensational style.
“As I said to the players, I can’t think of a performance that I’ve been more proud of as a coach,” beamed Grant. “Not because of the result – but because we only picked and organised the team an hour before the match because of injuries.
“Boys had to move about, change their positions and some played that weren’t fully fit.
“Fantastic credit is due to the players and I’m so proud of the guts and determination they showed.”
Dunfermline would have ascended into the play-off positions with a victory and head coach Stevie Crawford was left to lament a porous back-line which has now shipped nine goals in its last three games.
“For the opening 20 minutes we were very good,” reflected Crawford. “We scored a good goal, then straight from the kick off we concede a corner and should’ve done better from it.
“Having watched the second goal back, as much as it’s a poor clearance, it ricocheted to Kevin O’Hara and he’s offside. It’s disappointing to see that.”