Alloa Athletic 2-0 Morton: Shiels debut loss

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IF NEW Morton boss Kenny Shiels, who officially takes over as manager at the club tomorrow, was in any doubt as to the monumental task facing him in his battle to steer Morton to safety in the league, this defeat 
will have served as a timely reality check for the Irishman as, on this evidence, his team are staring down the barrel.

No such problems, though, for Paul Hartley and his impressive Alloa who are now fully camped in the top half of the Championship. Amid the howling winds and sideways rain, this was never going to be a classic, but thanks to Recreation Park’s artificial surface, the match was never in any doubt despite the highly dubious nature of asking the public to pay to watch this sort of spectacle where good football was never going to happen.

With Shiels looking on, Morton gave as good as they got in the opening stages against an Alloa team on a continuous climb, as Jake Nicholson and Dougie Imrie had shots for the visitors countered by Kevin Cawley and Willie Robertson efforts for Alloa.

With the wind being as strong as it was, it always seemed likely that the breakthrough would play a part, and so it proved as the home team snatched the opener just before the referer blew the whistle for half time.

How much the elements contributed to Nicolas Caraux spilling a Robertson strike from distance that moved in the gale is one for debate, what isn’t in question is the reactions of veteran Wasps striker Andy Kirk, who gobbled up the rebound in his customary fashion.

Morton worked hard in search of an equaliser, but with Nacho Novo once again being a massive disappointment.

Alloa keeper Scott Bain had little to do and, when recently introduced substitute Declan McManus finished 
off a flowing counter-attack with five minutes remaining, the game was over as a contest.