Sunday, February 19, 2017 7:01:05 PM
It was fitting that Greig Spence scored the 8,000 SPFL goal this weekend for “The Wasps” against Queen’s Park at Hampden Park, Glasgow a ground where Greig scored on his senior debut for “The Wasps” back on the 14th February, 2009 in a 2-1 victory.
Young looking Greig Spence debut 14th February, 2009
Alloa players Noble, Hill & Townsley share Greig's delight
Greig at the time commented on his first senior goal in his full senior debut “My dream like lots of other young boys is to play professional football and I have to say that playing at Hampden Park in my first full senior debut for Alloa Athletic is something I could not have dreamed for at the start of this season. Today’s game I really enjoyed and I felt as the game went on I got more into the game and more involved and obviously happy to score my first goal in such an important game for the club, at an important time in the match. As the game wore on I got more tired but the goal near the end of the match from Stuart Noble gave everyone a great lift and a -1 victory, no more than we deserved because we had worked hard for this result. Asked about his recollection of the goal, his first in the senior game. Greig said “David Crawford palmed away a shot which came towards me and I only had one thought and leathered it”, let’s hope there are still more of Greig’s goals to help “The Wasps” in the future. By the end of that season Greig was already proving his worth to the club, scoring at Somerset Park against Ayr United to clinch a 1-1 to secure “The Wasps” place that season in the division.
Greig on target at Somerset Park v. Ayr United
No Alloa Athletic fan will ever forget Greig’s double strike against Rangers in the Petrofac Cup Semi-final at Alloa, Rangers under manager Ally McCoist having went 2-0 ahead with goals from Kenny Miller and Dean Shiels after 64 minutes, Greig struck his first goal after 72 minutes, Ryan McCord scored the equaliser after 75 minutes and Greig scored his second goal of the evening after 89 minutes to secure a dramatic and historic winner.
Greig is now in his third spell with Alloa Athletic and approaching his 100th appearance for “The Wasps”, on Saturday at Hampden he made his 96th first team appearance for the club scoring 37 goals, 19 of which have been this season which have been instrumental in the club’s push for promotion.
Sunday, February 19, 2017 4:41:41 PM
Saturday's result against Queen's Park at Hampden Park was such an important result with three huge games coming up for the club - Airdrie and East Fife at home before a trip the following week to Glebe Park to face Brechin City. The 2-0 victory at Hampden Park extended "The Wasps" run of victories against Queen's Park at the National Stadium which now goes back to September, 2008. The match will also be remembered for Greig Spence scoring the 8,000th SPFL goal, at a stadium Greig has always enjoyed good fortune, scoring on his senior debut for "The Wasps"on 14th February, 2009 in a 2-1 victory after Alloa Athletic manager Allan Maitland gave him his senior debut.
Greig pounces on Bryan Wharton's headed pass back
He lobs it over the advancing keeper Willie Muir
Showing great composure to score his 19th goal of season
Although it would be fair to say the team have played better this season, on this occasion the result was very important. Greig nearly doubled his tally in the game before keeper Willie Muir tipped his header over the bar.
The second goal did not come until five minutes from the end and what a strike it was, Jordan Kirkpatrick scoring his 14th goal of the season a partnership with Greig spence this season which has accounted for 33 goals between them which is spectacular return at any level.
Jordan Kirkpatrick in top form at Hampden Park
Jordan Kirkpatrick puts "The Wasps" 2-0 in front
Iain Flannigan with great chance to extend Alloa's lead
Alloa players celebrate victory at Hampden Park
Friday, February 10, 2017 7:03:18 PM
Alloa Athletic and Queen of the South took part in a very enjoyable "Bounce Game" at the Indodrill Stadium on Friday evening, keeping the players active in what would have been a blank weekend for both clubs who had been knocked out in this season's William Hill Scottish Cup. Both managers fielded very strong sides in a game which proved to be a very worthwhile exercise, especially for Jim Goodwin who watched his side match their SPFL Championship opponents in the first half and take great credit for taking the lead just after the hour, substitute Adam Martin scoring the games only goal. It was a game when both managers were allowed to try options, and players in different positions, away from the stress of league games where results are foremost and do not always give the flexability. In the second half manager Jim Goodwin took off full backs Scott Taggart & Calum Waters who have been everpresent in first team this season and moved Jon Robertson to right back and Steven Hetherington to left back, a move which worked well and must have given the manager great heart knowing he has 2 ready relacements for these positions to cover if required for injury or suspension.
Teams - Alloa Athletic: 21. Craig McDowall 2. Scott Taggart 3. Calum Waters 4. Jason Marr 5. Andy Graham 6. Jon Robertson 7. Iain Flannigan 8. Steven Hetherington 9. Greig Spence 10. Jordan Kirkpatrick 11. Dylan Mackin
Subs: 12. Graeme Holmes (3) 45m 14. Kevin Cawley (5) 45m 15. Jamie Longworth (10) 45m 16. Scott Hynd (9) 45m 17. Ryan Hoggan (2) 45m 18. Adam Martin (7) 62m 19. Trialist Jakub Smutek (11) 62m 1. Andrew Wilson (21) 45m
Queen of the South: 1. Lee Robinson 2. Jamie Hamill 4. Andy Dowie 6. Chris Higgins No number - Trialist 14. Kyle Jacobs 25. Lyndon Dykes 23. Dom Thomas 9. Derek Lyle 11. Stephen Dobbie 27. Connor Murray
Subs: 3. Jordan Marshall (23) 45m, 8. John Rankin (14) 45m 15. Joe Thomson (11) 45m 39. Danny Carmichael (9) 45m 20. James Atkinson (1) 45m & 24. Scott Mercer replaced No Number 63m.
Referee: Wes Boulstridge
Greig Spence shot watched by Andy Dowie
Scott Hynd is tackled by Chris Higgins
Adam Martin watches his shot put Alloa 1-0 ahead
Andrew Wilson confidently takes this cross ball
Ryan Hoggan is closed down by John Rankin
Sunday, February 05, 2017 7:17:03 PM
This was a game "The Wasps" needed to take all three points as they looked to close the gap on Livingston at the top of the table. Jordan Kirkpatrick put the home side in front after 25 minutes after his long range shot was fumbled by Livingston keper Liam Kelly after 25 minutes.
Match mascot Robbie Webb with club captains
Stefan McCluskey early effort goes over the bar
Jordan Kirkpatrick puts "The Wasps" ahead after 25 minutes
Eleven minutes later Danny Mullen headed the league leaders level for his eleventh goal of the season. Alloa were still creating chances and Dylan Mackin making his full first team debut since coming on loan from Motherwell could not have went closer when his net bound shot beat keeper Kelly and struck the far post before being scooped back from crossing the line at the last minute.
Liam Kelly pulled back ball from crossing the line?
The second half started on the back foot for Alloa and ex Alloa Athletic striker Liam Buchanan pounced to put the visitors ahead after 48 minutes. At this stage in the game the visitors were enjoying their best spell in the match. However as has been shown in recent weeks the Alloa players never know defeat and Dylan Mackin turned inside the box with five remained to clinch a 2-2 draw.
Dylan Mackin scores on his full debut for "The Wasps"
The Wasps score a well deserved equaliser
Sunday, January 29, 2017 7:32:12 PM
Jim Goodwin will reflect on the match at Coatbridge on Saturday knowing that on the day the team didn't do enough to win after going 1 - 0 ahead in the first half, the first time the team has gone ahead in a league match since defeating Stenhousemuir on the 5th November, 2016, 4-1 at the Indodrill Stadium. Any team can beat another at any given time in this league and there are no easy matches.
Andrew Wilson is applauded onto pitch making his debut
The players are giving the manager everything but in the second half Albion Rovers came right back into the match showing the form which allowed them to defeat Livingston, Airdrieonians, Brechin City & Q.O.S. this season. Our focus has not changed and the players look to go out and win every match to try and gain us promotion at the end of the season by achieving at least a top four spot. Next week we face Livingston in another huge game for the club, knowing we must win if we are to catch the Almondvale club in the chase for the title.
Stefan McCluskey at heart of all Alloa's best moves
Greig Spence tirelessly looking to add more goals
Albion Rovers keeper Ross Stewart is wrong footed at goal
Scott Taggart turns to receive acclaim for opening goal 1-0
Jordan Kirkpatrick driving into the Albion Rovers box
Ross J. Stewart No.9 flicks in equalising goal 1-1
Dylan Mackin came on for final 20 minutes
Friday, January 27, 2017 2:17:18 PM
Manager Jim Goodwin today strenghened his squad by adding 20 year old Motherwell striker, Dylan Mackin on a Development Loan until the end of this season. Dylan has come through the Motherwell Youth Academy and his goals this season for the Motherwell U20's have attracted many visiting scouts watching his progress. Dylan will still be able to be eligible play in Motherwell U20's matches if required by Stephen Craigan.
Sunday, January 22, 2017 7:40:53 PM
Kevin Cawley made his 200th appearance in a Wasps shirt on Saturday against Dunfermline Athletic. To mark this landmark appearance it is only fitting for an appreciation of Kevin's tremendous service to the club to be profiled in 'The Wasp'.
Cawley was Paul Hartley's second signing in June 2011 and the then 22 year old made an immediate impact for Alloa. On his league debut he scored the winner in a 3-2 success at Stranraer, dancing past a couple of challenges before cutting in from the left and unleashing a powerful finish. Cawley was a regular on the scoresheet in the first half of the season (a sensational double at Hampden being a highlight), resulting in the club offering him a new 18 month deal by the end of the November, no doubt to fend off interest from other clubs! As well as 'the wee man's' goalscoring exploits, his direct running and close control marked him out from other Third Division frontmen. The second half of the season saw him establish a fine partnership with loanee Stevie May, who took over the goalscoring duties as the Wasps marched to the title. Kevin finished a highly successful first season at the club with ten goals, a place in the Third Division team of the year and a nomination for the divisional player of the year gong (which was won by May).
Cawley took the step up to the Second Division in his stride, just like the club did as a whole. He started the season strongly once again, with four goals in the opening two months of the season. By the business end of the season Cawley hit top form, with a goal in the play-off semi second leg versus Brechin and a man of the match performance in the memorable final first leg success versus Dunfermline. Cawley was everywhere that night, linking play intelligently and pressurising the Pars at every opportunity. Kevin finished the season as top goalscorer with a career high 14 goals as the Wasps secured successive promotions. A feature of those goals were that, importantly, six broke the deadlock in matches, with the Wasps going onto secure victories on five of those occasions.
The second tier was uncharted territory for Cawley, but he revelled in playing at a higher stage at first. The opening half of the season saw Alloa climb to the dizzy heights of 4th in the First Division table, with Cawley arguably the stand out performer in an increasing midfield role. Kevin's tireless running, often winning back possession before launching lung-busting counter-attacks, was an essential ingredient of the Wasps early season successes. As Alloa's form dipped in the second half of the season, so did the effectiveness of Cawley (mainly as a result of him being tightly marked). However, he still finished top scorer for the second successive season (with nine goals), as the Wasps dramatically avoided the relegation play-offs on the final day of the season. Perhaps the most telling facts of the season were that Cawley was never substituted throughout the season and only missed a single game. The never being subbed off fact is an amazing one, given it is typical for attacking players to be rotated late in games and Cawley was often on the receiving end of robust challenges.
During the 2014/5 season Cawley was once again an almost ever-present in the Wasps line up. In-fact, in his 4 ½ years at the club Kev has only missed ten games in total. When you take into account that three of those were Stirlingshire Cup ties (when fringe/youth players typically made up the team), another two were where Cawley was an unused sub and he was once suspended, that means in total he has only missed four games through injury/illness. Sadly one of those rare occurrences was the 3-2 cup semi-final win over Rangers, with Cawley one of eight players missing that memorable evening. The 2014/5 season saw Cawley score some memorable goals, with his long range screamers into the top corner versus Falkirk (live on BBC Alba) and Dumbarton surely being two of Cawley's sweetest strikes in his entire career. Come the end of the season, Cawley had helped the Wasps avoid the drop from the Championship once more. However, after four years Kev decided, like many of the squad who had stayed together that entire time, to head for a new challenge elsewhere. Cawley's destination was Dumbarton, the highest placed part-time team in the country and closer to his home. For these reasons few Alloa fans could begrudge Cawley his move, having been an integral part of the 2011-2015 heroics.
After a lukewarm season at Dumbarton, Cawley's return to Clackmannanshire last May was Jack Ross' first 'new' summer signing, and a clear statement of intent for the season ahead. It is probably fair to say that the return of the 'magic little man' also acted as a catalyst for persuading other players to join Alloa. This season Kevin has reminded the Wasps faithful of his undoubted quality, with a number of man of the match performances (Brechin away in October, Stenhousemuir at home in November, and most recently last week against Peterhead). His trademark faints, dummies, twists and turns from his low centre of gravity have been there for all to see, with his link up play at times being a joy to see. It is perhaps no coincidence that Cawley's four goals this season have all contributed to Alloa victories.
I think that the Wasps are lucky to have a player of Cawley's calibre at the club, with him undoubtedly being one of the finest part-time players in the country. He has now been a regular for five separate managers at Alloa, with his first manager Paul Hartley aptly summing up Cawley's contribution in November 2013 “The wee fella's attitude to the game is first class. He might not get the fifteen or twenty goals that other strikers will but he has got everything else in his game. I think he is just getting better and better. Each time we have moved up he has handled the next level well and I definitely think he can handle the step up again.” At 27, there are still plenty of years ahead in the game for Cawley, so I'm sure all Alloa fans will join me in congratulating Kevin on reaching the 200 mark, and hope that in the years to come he'll reach the 250 and 300 appearance mark, as well as shortly surpassing the 50 goal mark too!
Kevin's Alloa Athletic Appearances
Season League Cup Total
2011/12 32 (3) 9 4 (-) 1 36 (3) 10
2012/13 29 (10) 14 2 (1) 0 31 (11) 14
2013/14 35 ( - ) 8 6 (-) 1 41 (-) 9
2014/15 36 (2) 5 9 (-) 0 45 (2) 5
2016/17 20 (-) 3 8 (3) 1 28 (3) 4
Total 152 (15) 39 29 (4) 3 181 (19) 42
Article in "The Wasp" by Jonathan Markwell
Sunday, January 22, 2017 7:06:35 PM
The Wasps hopes of progressing in this season's William Hill Scottish Cup looked to be dashed after going 3-0 behind early in the second half to SPFL Championship side Dunfermline Athletic, however once again Jim Goodwin's men fought back to 3-2 after Greig Spence scored his 18th goal of the season for a tense finish with hopes of a reply which looked unlikey earlier in the match. Alloa's last opportunity fell to captain Graeme Holmes, who had been outstanding in midfield, his net bound shot however in injury time struck Dunferline Athletic player Nat Wedderburn and was cleared upfield and "The Pars" progressed to the fifth round where they will now meet Hamilton Accies.
Both Alloa Athletic's recent signing Frank McKeown and substitute Stefan McCluskey can be pleased with their contribution - Stefan McCluskey scoring on his debut and Frank McKeown being named sponsors "Man of the Match".
Special mention must also go the Kevin Cawley who made his 200th first team appearance for the club in a game once again he gave everything.
Stefan McCluskey heads in debut goal to start comeback
Dunfermline defenders keep close grip on Frank McKeown
Greig Spence makes it 3-2 but just too late
Graeme Holmes fires in last gasp effort which was blocked
Thursday, January 19, 2017 3:28:12 PM
Alloa Athletic manager Jim Goodwin tonight welcomed Stefan McCluskey to the Indodrill Stadium, he said "I'm over the moon to get Stef in, we've been working hard to get it sorted for a number of weeks now. He's a very direct and hard working player who has had success in this league before. He was very much in demand and I am delighted we managed to get the deal done in the end. I have no doubt he will settle in well with the group and I am confident he will be a great signing for the club."
Manager welcomes Stefan McCluskey
New Signing Stefan McCluskey
Thursday, January 19, 2017 11:08:48 AM
Manager Jim Goodwin is delighted to confirm the signing of experienced forward, Stefan McCluskey, subject to SFA confirmation and clearance. The twenty six year old player had been training with St. Mirren since leaving Peterhead at the end of November, 2016, and was on the radar of other clubs. A dangerous player who likes to get into the box, proven at higher level. McCluskey is best known for his stint with Greenock Morton, having fired 10 goals in 55 appearances during a two-year spell at Cappielow, following a previous spell at Clyde after stepping up from the juniors. He departed Jim Duffy’s side at the end of last season, signing for Peterhead over the summer.
New signing - Stefan McCluskey