United drew 1-1 with Alloa this evening as a last minute goal denied The U's a second pre-season win. Deane Smalley's 7th minute goal was cancelled out by a 90th minute goal from Eddie Fearns in a well contested game between two hard working sides.
The U’s started with a very experienced side that had Ryan Clarke in goal behind a back four of David Hunt, Michael Raynes, Jake Wright and Tom Newey. While it is far too early to predict the starting eleven when United kick off their league games at Portsmouth on August 3rd those five do look a very solid dependable unit and again proved tough opponents for their hosts, newly promoted to Scottish League One.
In midfield Alfie Potter and Sean Rigg added width outside Danny Rose and Andy Whing. Rose in particular caught the eye in the first half, knitting things together with his usual neat passing and high energy running on Alloa’s 3G pitch.
Dave Kitson has been the high profile summer signing and led the line expertly but it was his strike partner Smalley who made the breakthrough on seven minutes, scopping the ball past keeper Scott Bain from six yards after flwoing build up play from Hunt and Whing. Smalley's second goal in successive games.
Alloa look a good side themselves and new signing Andy Kirk almost beat Clarke with a volley which bounced to safety off of the bar early on but Clarke had been relatively untroubled until in the very last minute a long ball over the top reached Fearns who calmly swerved round the keeper to roll the ball into the empty net to make it 1-1.
Probably a fair result over all but more importantly a proper game full of honest endeavour. For the U's it gave some players as invaluable full 90 minutes and with partnerships starting to develop all over the pitch this was another good night's work.
Clarke, Hunt (Bevans 60), Raynes, Wright, Newey (Meades 76), Potter, Whing (Davies 60), Rose, Rigg (O'Dowda), Smalley (Constable 60), Kitson (Hall 60)