BY THE time this Championship season – a season like no other – comes to an end, Alloa’s fate may be decided by the smallest of margins.

With every point so crucial in the battle to stay up, it cannot be underestimated how costly the result against Dunfermline last Saturday may be.

Alloa produced one of their best performances in weeks, perhaps even this year, and were still defeated. It was not for a lack of trying and had decisions went their way, they could have taken the three points.

As they have for recent games, Alloa started with a back five. Lucas Williamson retained his place at the left with Jon Robertson on the right. Andy Graham, Scott Taggart and Liam Dick took the three central positions.

With Ray Grant suspended, Steven Hetherington was on his own in the middle of the park. Stefan Scougall started alongside Alan Trouten and Kevin Cawley in support of Innes Cameron.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to take the lead. Fraser Murray made his way inside from the left wing and took a hopeful shot towards goal.

What would have been a comfortable save for Neil Parry to make ended up being a goal after Craig Wighton managed to nip in front of Graham and get a toe to the ball and leave Parry with no chance.

Alloa know all about Scott Banks and the talent the youngster possesses. Returning to Scotland on loan from Crystal Palace, he started against his old club and was up against the youngster Williamson.

Despite the bag full of tricks and stepovers, Williamson seemed up for the battle and put in another impressive performance against a tricky opponent.

The Wasps got a deserved equaliser shortly before half-time. Taggart managed to get past his man and into the box to cut the ball back to Cawley; however, it was poked away by a Pars defender.

Hetherington recovered the ball and slotted it in to Williamson’s feet and the youngster managed to turn and smash a shot towards Owain Fon Williams.

The keeper made a good save but could only palm it into the path of Cameron and Scougall and the ball somehow squirmed into the path of Cawley, who rifled the ball towards goal and the deflection took it past Fon Williams.

Just minutes later, Alloa almost took the lead. Taggart’s free-kick from 25 yards almost caught Fon Williams out but the keeper managed to get across his goal quickly and push the ball wide.

The score didn’t stay on level terms for long in the second half. Wighton managed to get free of Hetherington and in front of Graham to glance a header past Parry to restore the hosts’ lead.

Straight from the kick-off, Alloa pushed up the park. A smart one-two between Trouten and Cameron almost allowed Trouten to get a shot on goal but Josh Edwards was able to get a block. Alloa shouted for a penalty, but referee Steven Reid ignored their cries.

If Alloa were shouting at the referee for a penalty, soon enough they were screaming at him. Robertson’s floated ball into the box found Cameron jostling with Paul Watson and the Kilmarnock loanee was able to hold him off and power a header past Fon Williams.

However, the referee blew his whistle for a foul and the goal was disallowed, leaving the Alloa players furious.

A golden opportunity then fell into the feet of Trouten, but he couldn’t convert. Dick’s floated ball was headed towards the six yard box by Cameron and Trouten, stretching, managed to get a toe on it but the power wasn’t there and Fon Williams was able to get down and save.

Soon, Alloa erupted again. Graham managed to flick a cross towards Cameron, who got in front of Lewis Mayo. The defender missed the ball and fell, clipping Cameron’s legs in the process which allowed the ball to run away from him. Another strong penalty shout fell on deaf ears.

In the end, despite a dominant second half, Alloa were defeated.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), the Wasps travel north to face Inverness Caley Thistle while Dundee host ninth-placed Ayr United.

With five points separating bottom from ninth, and only six points between Alloa and sixth, the season is far from over.

There were promising signs on Saturday. Cameron is proving to be more than a handful to defences and should have registered his second goal, and could also have grabbed a couple of assists.

The main thing for manager Peter Grant is he now has a full squad to select from, something he has not been able to do in a long time. Fighting until the last kick of the season is nothing new for this team and they’ll have no qualms about doing it again.

ALLOA: Parry, Williamson (Thomson), Dick, Graham, Taggart, Robertson (Brown), Hetherington, Trouten, Scougall, Cawley, Cameron. UNUSED SUBS: Wright, Buchanan, Jamieson, Murray, Connelly