Speirs rues missed opportunities

GARDNER Speirs was left ruing his side’s inability to turn chances into goals after a 4-0 defeat to Alloa on Saturday.

The Wasps got what turned out to be a comprehensive victory through goals from Robbie Winters (2), Steven May and Graeme Holmes.

But the final score-line did not reflect how much Queen’s Park had been in the game.

Speirs said: “We made enough chances to be much closer than that and at the times we needed to take them, we didn’t. I thought some of our build up play was excellent.

“The manner we lost the goals was disappointing, but it’s hard to criticise our guys for the performance because I thought we played well.

“We have to hold our hands up and say Alloa were clinical and they took the chances that they made. That’s why they’re top of the division and the rest of us are chasing them.”

With the game poised at 2-0, Jamie Longworth had what was arguably the Spiders’ best chance when he fired over from Paul McGinn’s cut-back.

Speirs said: “It would’ve made a big difference because then the whole dynamics of the game change and we don’t go down to ten men, and who knows.”

Just two minutes after Longworth’s opportunity, James Brough was sent off by referee Don Robertson for elbowing Alloa forward Steven May in an aerial challenge.

Speirs said: “I’m not dodging the issue but I genuinely didn’t see it. I couldn’t comment on whether there was intent or whether he caught him or not.

“At the time we were a wee bit upset because we felt there were one or two decisions that the referee didn’t see that could’ve gone our way.”

One such decision was a 64th minute penalty claim which referee Robertson ignored.

Peter Bradley’s tasty cross was well controlled by Owen Ronald, who appeared to be caught by Wasps’ goalkeeper Scott Bain.

Speirs said: “I don’t know the reason for him going down if he wasn’t touched. It was a great ball in behind the defence for Owen running across.”

At 37-years-old, Robbie Winters came back to haunt Speirs, who was assistant manager at Aberdeen when the striker played for the Pittodrie club.

Speirs said: “It’s not very funny when he sticks the ball in the back of the net against us!

“Darren Young was at Aberdeen when I was there as well. They’re great lads and good players. I’m sure they’ve played a big part in Alloa’s position at the top of the table.”

Paul Hartley, the man tasked with keeping Alloa at the Division Three summit, was thrilled with his team’s performance.

He said: “We were absolutely fantastic. It was a joy at times watching some of the football we played. We could’ve scored more than four goals.

“We deserve the credit. We’ve not had it at times this year – it’s always that everybody else has been unlucky against us. But we showed what we’re all about today.

“We’re in a good position, that’s for sure. Six games to go and we’ve just got to take a game at a time and see where it takes us at the end of the season.”

Barring a spectacular Alloa collapse, any faint hopes Queen’s had of winning Division Three have now faded.

Speirs said: “If we had managed to get three points today it would’ve put a wee bit more pressure on Alloa because it would also have given Stranraer hope.

“We’ll just dust ourselves down and look to try and get three points again next week. We’ve been on a good run of late and the guys are playing well with good consistency of performance.

“Our feeling is that if we can’t finish first, then we’ll try and finish second”.