Third Division: Alloa heat up Hampden to go nine points clear

The five games due to be played in the Irn-Bru Second Division were frozen off on Saturday leaving the Third Division to take centre stage for league football in Scotland.

Although the games at Berwick and Elgin were postponed, the undersoil heating at Hampden along with artificial surfaces at Ochilview and Link’s Park saw what could be an influential day in the hunt for the title.

Alloa turned the heat up on their rivals by seeing off Queen’s Park 2-1 at the National Stadium and by the time the three final whistles had sounded the Wasps had moved three points clear as both Stranraer and Annan had dropped points. Delighted Alloa manager Paul Hartley said: “This was a really great win at a very difficult place. Queen’s Park have only been beaten twice at home all season and both times it has been by us.”

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The opener came on 29 minutes when Kevin Cawley fired home from the edge of the box.

Alloa made it two six minutes from before the break. Michael Doyle’s low drive looked like it would drift past the far post until home captain Ricky Little slid in and pushed it over the line. Spiders’ substitute Michael Daly pulled a goal back with five minutes left.

Second placed Stranraer required a last minute Chris Aitken penalty to secure a 2-2 draw against hosts East Stirlingshire who remain at the foot of the table. The Shire had gone ahead after just three minutes when Scott Maxwell’s corner was allowed to drift into the visitors’ goal, however Stranraer drew level before half time when Stephen Stirling fired home a Sean Winter knock down. The hosts moved ahead with another quick strike at the start of the second half when on-loan Hibs youngster Lewis Horner chipped home from the edge of the box, however a last minute Rhys Devlin handball was penalised and Aitken netted from the spot.

Third-placed Annan also relied on a late penalty to earn them a point with their contest at Montrose ending 1-1. Jamie Winter’s 30-yarder gave the Gable Endies a first half lead with the Galabankies levelling with 12 minutes left. The home side’s Dougie Cameron was dismissed for a foul on Jack Steele in the penalty box and Aaron Muirhead netted from the spot.