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Alloa 0-3 Dundee: Lee Ashcroft double sees Dark Blues back to winning ways

Dundee's Lee Ashcroft (left) celebrates his opener.
Dundee's Lee Ashcroft (left) celebrates his opener.

A man of the match performance from central defender Lee Ashcroft saw Dundee get back to winning ways with a 3-0 victory at Alloa Athletic.

After the disappointment of the performance against Ayr on Tuesday night, the pressure was on the Dark Blues.

However, they handled that pressure by putting on a much-improved display in Clackmannanshire that earned their biggest league win of the season.

The difference at both ends of the park was Ashcroft with the big defender solid at the back and dominant in the opposition area.

And he ended the night with two goals, both from Paul McGowan corners with the Wasps defence unable to deal with the centre-back.

Max Anderson grabbed his third of the season late on to add gloss to the scoreline as the Dark Blues moved level with Dunfermline in second spot.

Manager James McPake made just one change to his starting XI from the poor 3-1 home defeat to Ayr on Tuesday.

That saw Declan McDaid come in for Charlie Adam, who took a place on the bench as he continues to get back to fitness following his absence through Covid-19.

Top scorer Osman Sow picked up a hamstring injury on the eve of the contest and missed out completely.

Peter Grant’s Alloa came into the contest in good spirits after getting the better of Queen of the South last week. Though they remain bottom, victory would see them move to within a point of the pack above.

It was Dundee who made the first chance of note, however.

Just four minutes in, McDaid got the better of his marker on the left wing and sent a dangerous cross into the area. Jason Cummings met it with a firm header but it flew straight into the arms of Neil Parry in the home goal.

Up the other end in-form Alloa striker Innes Cameron nipped in behind Sam Fisher but his shot trundled to Adam Legzdins.

On 11 minutes, Lee Ashcroft leapt highest to meet a Paul McGowan corner but, with Parry in no man’s land, the big defender headed wide.

The early efforts kept coming with McDaid next to try his luck but skewing his strike wide from 20 yards after 15 minutes.

Lee Ashcroft rises highest to open the scoring.

After 25 minutes, Danny Mullen won a free-kick 25 yards out. Cummings stepped up but curled his effort just over the crossbar.

Dundee had been racking up the corners but it was Alloa threatening at the other end as Legzdins under pressure punched straight to Kevin Cawley. His effort hit Ashcroft and the danger passed.

Finally those corners counted for the Dark Blues as McGowan found Ashcroft’s head and the defender made no mistake this time around, powering a header into the corner for 1-0.

In first-half stoppage time Cummings’ attempt at a spectacular volley once more found the arms of Parry and Dundee had to settle for 1-0 at the break.

Dundee switched wingers in the second half with Paul McMullan lining up on the left flank.

Moments after the restart they had a golden chance to double their lead as Liam Dick’s error allowed Cummings through on goal.

However, the former Hibs and Rangers man was denied by a good save from Parry.

Lee Ashcroft gets his second of the night.

They did get that vital second goal and from the exact same route as the first.

McGowan sent in the corner, Ashcroft was too strong in the air and the big defender grabbed his second of the night, powering into the top corner.

And it was almost 3-0 on the hour mark as Cummings lifted a ball into the area but Mullen flicked his free header wide of the post.

Alloa were still a threat, continually putting Legzdins under pressure from set-pieces and the former Burnley man was forced to tip a Scott Taggart free-kick over the bar.

With 15 minutes to go, the home side were pushing to get back into the game with Ray Grant trying his luck from distance but saw his looping volley fly over.

Two minutes later, Adam made his entrance as Dundee filled up their midfield, Cummings the man making way.

With 10 minutes left it was 3-0 and game over.

A long clearance was latched onto by the speedy McMullan. With the defence rushing back, the winger squeezed a ball through the defence to set Anderson free.

And the young midfielder grabbed his third goal in five games with a fine finish into the corner.

Alloa kept going but couldn’t find their way past the Dundee defence with Legzdins keeping his second clean sheet in three games.

And the result saw the Dark Blues move level with Dunfermline on 30 points ahead of their meeting next weekend.



Alloa: Parry, Taggart, Graham, Dick, Cawley, Robertson, Grant, Hetherington, Murray (Buchanan 60), Connelly (Brown 74), Cameron.

Subs not used: Willison, Jamieson, Williamson, Lynch, O’Donnell.

Dundee: Legzdins, Elliott, Fisher, Ashcroft, Marshall, McDaid, McGowan (Byrne 71), Anderson, McMullan, Mullen (Afolabi 84), Cummings (Adam 78).

Subs not used: Hamilton, Kerr, Cameron, Strachan.

Referee: Grant Irvine