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Alloa Athletic 2 Hibernian 1: From a corner to a cul-de-sac, Stubbs' woes go on

A serious-looking injury to one of his newest recruits and his team's worst performance since he arrived at Easter Road left Alan Stubbs a worried man after Alloa Athletic came from behind to claim a deserved win at Recreation Park.

Perhaps most telling of all, though, was the sense of resignation amongst a travelling support that gave every sign of suffering from crisis fatigue as they wondered if the misery of this calendar year will ever end.

Having produced a dramatic fightback in midweek to stay in the League Cup, it seemed Hibernian might finally have turned a corner when they opened the scoring 15 minutes in. However, the post-match reflections suggested that had more to do with the home team having taken time to realise fully that their manager's assessment of their prospects had been sound.

"I told them to believe that we were strong enough to beat Hibs, but we didn't really play until the second half," Barry Smith said.

Alloa had looked tentative early on, Matt Kennedy having caused problems on their left flank before he got to the bye-line to chip the ball to Jason Cummings whose clipped header was on target before Daryll Meggatt deflected the ball past his goalkeeper.

Thereafter, though, the home team had the better attempts on goal in the first half, Jordan Forster having to make a number of important blocks and Mark Oxley a couple of decent saves.

A worrying moment for Hibs arrived when Farid El Alagui was stretchered off after landing awkwardly on the artificial surface, having immediately called for medical assistance, clutching his ankle. Stubbs admitted afterwards that the initial prognosis was not good with Achilles' tendon damage in the reckoning. Loss of key personnel, particularly the newcomers the manager has brought in, is clearly the last thing Hibs need on the evidence of a second half throughout which Alloa were much the livelier side.

Once they got their equaliser, Liam Buchanan lashing it in after Meggatt's initial header from Kevin Cawley's cross had been batted away by Oxley, they always looked likelier to claim the win and did so in grand fashion.

In partnership with Forster, Liam Fontaine, had done fairly well before he clumsily hauled Cawley down on the very edge of the box in line with the penalty spot with only five minutes to go.

Having just taken the field, substitute Iain Flannigan stepped up to knock the free-kick over the corner of the wall and into the top right corner of Oxley's goal, leaving a rueful Stubbs to admit his men had been out-fought.

"I didn't feel as if we were even doing enough at 1-0 in the game and we certainly didn't do enough after that," said the Hibs manager, who admitted he did not like the artificial pitch at Recreation Park while observing that it had not been a key factor in the outcome.

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