AHEAD of Friday night's arrival of Dundee, Alloa had more than one reason to be feeling quietly confident.

Alloa were coming into the match off the back of a huge victory away to Queen of the South, while Dundee arrived in Clackmannanshire fresh from a 3-1 defeat to Ayr United at home.

Furthermore, the last time these two teams met on a Friday night, Alloa were the better team and, having secured a two goal cushion with less than 15 minutes to go, should have won the match.

Unfortunately, for Peter Grant's side, Dundee started the match as if they had a point to prove.

The first chance of the match fell onto the head of Jason Cummings but his effort was saved comfortably by Neil Parry.

Alloa's first chance fell to Innes Cameron but he never looked like scoring. Kevin Cawley received the ball in his own half and turned, immediately lifting his head and launching the ball towards Cameron. Bouncing just outside of the box, the striker hit a half-volley with his left foot but the tame effort was collected easily by Adam Legzdins.

Before scoring the first of his two headers Lee Ashcroft gave Alloa a warning. Parry came for Paul McGowan's corner but didn't leave the ground and Ashcroft jumped higher than everybody and connected well with the header but put it wide of the post.

Innes Murray's free kick was cleared easily but Scott Taggart headed the clearance back towards goal. Liam Dick managed to flick the ball into the path of Steven Hetherington, who managed to get a toe on the ball and poke it past the post before he was taken down in the box. Alloa shouted for a penalty but the referee wasn't interested.

With around 10 minutes until half-time a Hetherington corner fell into the path of Cawley who had time to set himself and smash a half-volley towards goal. Unfortunately for Cawley there was at least eight bodies in front of the goal plus the keeper and the ball was cleared.

Another good opportunity fell to Alloa, but nobody was gambling. Dick's long throw was flicked towards an unmarked back post by Andy Graham and the ball would have required the softest of touches to take it over the line, but nobody was there.

ALLOA, SCOTLAND - MARCH 19: A general view of the Indodrill Stadium ahead of kick off during the Scottish Championship match between Alloa Athletic and Dundee at the Indodrill Stadium on March 19, 2021, in Alloa, Scotland.

ALLOA, SCOTLAND - MARCH 19: A general view of the Indodrill Stadium ahead of kick off during the Scottish Championship match between Alloa Athletic and Dundee at the Indodrill Stadium on March 19, 2021, in Alloa, Scotland.

Dundee finally made a set-piece count just minutes before the interval. Again, McGowan delivered a dangerous ball and again it was Ashcroft who jumped highest to meet it. This time he rose higher than Graham and powered a header into the net.

The visitors almost doubled their lead before the break when Cummings attempted a wonder strike. Dick's loose pass was stolen by Paul McMullan who raced towards the Alloa goal. The ball was spread wide and delivered into the box before Cummings attempted an overhead kick but it was straight into Parry's arms.

Parry once again thwarted Cummings minutes into the second half as Dick completely missed the ball and Cummings latched onto it. With Taggart chasing him down he managed to get a shot on target but Parry was out quickly to make a great block.

At the other end, Cameron was inches away from levelling the score. Again, it was Cawley trying to find the striker and he delivered another quality cross, curling the ball past the defenders and dropping it right in front of the keeper. With Cameron running across Legzdins' line of sight, the slightest of touches would have left the keeper with no chance but the striker just couldn't reach the ball.

The severity of that missed chance would be felt less than a minute later when Dundee doubled their lead.

A carbon copy of their first goal, the same outcome was produced by the same equation. A Dundee corner, taken by McGowan, headed into the net by Ashcroft. Once again Ashcroft was stronger than Graham and powered the header back across goal. Hetherington was on the post but it looked as if Parry's attempted save just maneuvered the ball out of Hetherington's path.

As Alloa pushed to get back in the game they were ultimately punished once again. From an attacking position, Cawley passed back to Taggart in the centre circle. His long ball was cut out and sent towards McMullan who raced towards goal. Cutting inside he played a cute reverse pass that somehow squirmed between Ray Grant's legs and Max Anderson made no mistake in smashing the ball past Parry.

With Arbroath managing to hold Hearts to a draw on Saturday, the gap between Alloa and the relegation play-off position now stands at five points. Alloa host Ayr United this Saturday before a potentially season-defining trip to face Dick Campbell's men the following week.

ALLOA: Parry, Robertson, Graham, Taggart, Dick, Hetherington, Grant, Connelly (Brown), Cawley, Murray (Buchanan), Cameron. UNUSED SUBS: Willison, Jamieson, O'Donnell, Williamson, Lynch