FOLLOWING their spectacular collapse after taking a 3-0 lead against Queen of the South in October, who would have thought that 13 matches later then-winless Alloa would be sitting eighth and six matches unbeaten. The form side in the division, no less.

The signs that the Championship’s only part-time side would eventually click and embark upon a run of good form were there right from the start, however. A last-minute goal in an opening-day defeat to Ross County in Dingwall set the tone for the early part of their season: competing but not securing the results their play deserved.

Only once have Alloa lost by more than two goals this season – a 3-0 defeat to Ayr, a result which saw Ian McCall’s men move to the top of the league – and they have been on the wrong end of a two-goal margin just four times in their 21 league matches.

The draw with Queens came eight games into the season and left them with a record of four draws and four defeats. Victory over Partick Thistle came in their next league match though that was followed by a run of one win in six.

Recent results have seen them put daylight between themselves and the bottom two, with the side developing a habit of coming from behind. According to the Twitter account Alloa Stats, Jim Goodwin’s charges have already come from behind to take points in seven league matches this season, with Saturday’s comeback victory over Morton the fifth time they have done so in their last six.

As well as this, Alloa have come from behind to take draws in three of their cup matches this season.

The latest result, coupled with a draw between the two sides below them, rounded off the perfect day for the Wasps, with Goodwin and Hearts loanee Dario Zanatta picking up a player and manager of the month double. It was also confirmed that the Canadian forward will remain at the Indodrill until the end of the season.

Alan Trouten has put himself forward as an early contender for the January player award after netting three times in his last two. It was his double that helped secure a point against Dunfermline the previous week, and it was he who won and converted the penalty which got them back on level terms on Saturday.

The winning goal, from the unfortunate Kerr Waddell, who Goodwin sympathised with post-match, was one of the most bizarre own goals you will ever see.

The win leaves Alloa as many points away from the bottom of the league as they are from the promotion play-off positions, leading their manager to quip that it would be “absolute carnage” if his side were to finish in the top four and find themselves four matches away from the Premiership.

Goodwin has impressed during his time at the club and is just the latest young, untested, forward-thinking manager appointed to the role – following in the footsteps of Paul Hartley and Jack Ross.

And even though chairman Mike Mulraney is well aware that success for the club means Goodwin also eventually moving on to a bigger club, he and the supporters will be holding their breath every time such a side dismisses their own manager for the rest of the season, in fear that he will be poached before we’ve had the chance to see what this side can achieve.

Raith lose yet more ground in League One title bid

WHILE it may have been impossibly slim, going into last month there was still a chance that Raith could peg back the league leaders.

Arbroath started December with a 10-point advantage after 14 games played. Significant but not insurmountable. 

Raith then lost further ground by losing 3-2 to a resurgent Montrose, but made amends by leaving Gayfield with a 2-0 win – which remains Arbroath’s only league defeat this season.

John McGlynn’s side were then given the chance to chip another two points off the lead when the Red Lichties drew away at Montrose. On the same day, however, Raith lost to East Fife, continuing their poor showing in the fixture this season.

Since then, any hopes of a title challenge have dissipated, with Raith again dropping points, this time away to Airdrieonians this past weekend.

With the gap now at 13 points with 15 matches remaining, it appears the Stark’s Park side will have to make do with negotiating their way through the play-offs if they are to achieve promotion. 

And the less said about their play-off record the better. After being relegated by Brechin at the conclusion of the 2016/17 campaign, Raith missed out on promotion last season after defeat over two legs to Alloa.

Before all that, in the 2015/16 season, Raith lost out to Hibs in the Premiership play-off by an aggregate score of 2-1.

It means that that in all three attempts, Raith have failed to get past the semi-final stage.

Blue Brazil can finally look up the way

AHEAD of their money-spinning Scottish Cup tie against Rangers, the Blue Brazil recorded an emphatic 4-1 victory over Elgin City.

It was their second win in as many games – just the second time they have managed back-to-back league victories this season – and took them into fifth place, leapfrogging their latest opponents in the process.

A few tipped Cowdenbeath as dark horses for the League Two title after they appeared to add impressively to their squad over the summer, but they got off to a shaky start, winning just one of their opening seven league games.

Recently things have started to click, with the side showing far more fight and desire and with former Wolves youngster Jordan Allan, recruited in November, the stand-out performer.

He netted a brace on Saturday, taking his tally to four goals in the six appearances so far.

It leaves Gary Bollan’s side with a game in hand over fourth-placed Annan and boasting a similar goal difference. 

It means that fans can now legitimately assess their chances of making the promotion play-offs after two seasons in which there was a real threat they would lose their SPFL status.