Martyn Corrigan suffered another defeat in Stenhousemuir’s first game of 2013.
The Warriors boss looked on as his side fell 1-0 to Paul Hartley’s second-placed Alloa Athletic at Recreation Park.
There was little spark or invention from the Warriors who started 2013 the same way that they had finished 2012 with defeat leaving the Ochilview outfit with the unenviable record of just three victories in three months.
The Warriors have won once on their travels in the league this season and that was at Alloa so they would have been hoping that they could have done the double at the Recs.
The visitors had plenty of possession after a chance for Bryan Hodge early on, but without creating any more openings and it was at the other end that the deadlock came closest to being broken when Ryan McCord shot just wide in the 14th minute.
Three minutes later McCord was more successful with a sweetly struck shot from 25 yards after a clearance fell to him and his first time effort flew past Callum Reidford and into the net.
Chances were at a premium in this game and even at this early stage of the game it looked to be an important strike for Alloa as they strived to make it six wins in the last seven home games. Ryan’s brother Ross almost extended the lead in the 28th minute with a run and shot that went just wide but in the main neither keeper was called into action in a rather quiet first period.
It was perhaps the lack of action that caught Callum Reidford cold at the start of the second half when he just got away with being slow to react to a bouncing ball that Alloa’s Martin Grehan almost got to first when he should not have had a chance. In the main though the game continued with Stenhousemuir having plenty possession but unable to breech the home defence. There was a glimmer of an opening in the 64th minute following a couple of Brown Ferguson corners but any chance was closed when Alloa scrambled clear and they could have scored if Grehan not strayed offside on the counter attack when they had men over.
Eventually a couple of chances did come Stenhousemuir’s way, the first a header by Stewart Kean in the 71st minute found Scott Bain in the right position to make another comfortable save but he would have been beaten by Kevin McKinlay’s header in the 78th minute if it had been on target. This was a bad miss and the defender held his head in his hands at the disbelief that he had missed.
Alloa had struggled themselves to create openings but in the dying stages they should have put the game beyond doubt. Kevin McKinlay saved the Warriors in the 84th minute clearing an effort off the line after Callum Reidford was beaten. This was followed by Lewis Bonar firing just wide from a Ross McCord cross with the ball going just the wrong side of the post.
Stenhousemuir were unable to make the most of these lifelines and the final whistle blew with them still in arrears. This defeat means that they are now only one point away from the relegation play offs and their form in the second quarter of the season where they have picked up only five points and one win is a major concern.