BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
ALLOA Athletic manager Jack Ross has urged his players to savour their success in the Betfred Cup after becoming one of just three sides to progress from the group phase with a 100 per cent record.
The Wasps claimed a fine 1-0 win over Raith Rovers on Saturday afternoon, with former Rovers star Greig Spence latching on to a Jon Robertson pass before slotting the only goal of the game beyond Kevin Cuthbert.
The result adds to triumphs against Cove Rangers, Montrose and cup holders Ross County as Alloa marched into the last-16, where they will be seeded.
Premiership duo Rangers and Partick Thistle were the only side to navigate the new look group phase in perfect fashion and Ross has urged his players to be buoyed by their displays.
Ross lauded: “I’ve said to the players in the dressing room that they should talk up what they have achieved.
“That is not to say we will get carried away going in to the league season, but what they have achieved in this competition has been fantastic.
“To go through a really tough group – the holders [Ross County] and Raith Rovers in the last two games – with a 100 per cent record is terrific.
“We are resilient, we have experience and we always carry a threat, as we’ve seen with Greig Spence’s goal.
“We set the goal to win this group. People might say ‘it’s easy for you to say now’, but that was the target. If you don’t aim high then you won’t get there, so that is the first major target chalked off. Hopefully there are plenty more.”
Meanwhile, Raith Rovers boss Gary Locke was left to lament and under-par performance as the Kirkcaldy men crashed out of the Cup.
“It was frustrating, we didn’t move the ball quick enough and we didn’t make the right decision in the final third,” rued Locke. “I told the players that we needed a result or all our work in the group would be for nothing – and that’s what has happened.”