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Alloa Athletic 0 Cowdenbeath 1: Hemmings makes his class count

Kane Hemmings, the Cowdenbeath striker, decided the match for his team in a split second.

The ball arrived through Jamie Stevenson and ended up bouncing up near the forward in the box. His swivel and shot was so quick a blink might have missed it; the ball had been neither in control and nor did he look in a position to shoot. But, less than a second later, the roof of the net was rustling.

The former Rangers striker was a classy figure throughout in attack, a swaggeringly smooth presence; gliding across the pitch, through and past defenders. "It was a great finish," said Jimmy Nicholl, the Cowdenbeath manager. "We're glad of the three points, great. It was a typically spirited performance away from home; we just can't win a home game at the minute. It's going to be a long season if we're going to rely on away wins to stay in this division. So we've got to get that right."

There was a moment of controversy late in the second half. The hosts, pushing for an equaliser, were attacking and the ball appeared to be played back by a visiting defender. Ryan McCord was lurking, and thumped his shot beyond Thomas Flynn. It was adjudged to be offside, though, and Paul Hartley, the Alloa manager, proceeded to moan in the linesman's ear anytime the official got close to the dugout, and McCord also ran over to give him a good shellacking when the ball eventually went safely out of play.

But, in truth, despite a bright start from Alloa, the visitors were the more creative side throughout, a fact admitted by an extremely disapointed Hartley.

"The better team won," admitted the Alloa manager. "We were way off it, in terms of the standards we've set. That's the worst we've been all season. I couldn't put my finger on it, we were just really flat. We had no intensity or energy about our play."

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