League One side Alloa Athletic host Dumbarton on Wednesday night, as they continue their bid for promotion to the second tier. They take on the side who finished second from bottom in the Championship, but can they edge past the side who mustered less than a point per game this season? The hosts have certainly worked to get in the promotion frame this term, despite ending up a distant third behind Ayr United and Raith Rovers. Can they take some strong momentum and claim a first leg advantage?
Alloa may have finished 15 points shy of second placed Raith this season, but they still won home and away in the play-off semi-final to make it this far. Now two meetings with Dumbarton stand in their way in their bid for promotion, but they’ve already proven that they can step up when required. They will need to be at their best in order to claim a Championship spot, but they’ve done that before.
The hosts made it in to the play-offs last season, winning both of their home legs. They won the semi-final on penalties, but they lost out on a promotion place last time around when they lost in a shoot-out in the final. They’ll be desperate to go one better this time around, and they should be able to do that against a Dumbarton side who lost their final five league games of the campaign.
The visitors won just three times on the road last term, while they’ve claimed seven victories across their last 36 away trips in the Championship. They were on the verge of falling in to the bottom two last time around, and they were a dismal 17 points shy of safety last term. Meanwhile, Alloa have won six of their last eight matches ahead of this huge clash, they’ve scored twice or more in eight of their last 10 matches, and they’ll be hoping to bridge the gap to the second tier side with that kind of form.
Given that the visitors have lost eight of their last nine matches in the Championship, we expect them to struggle in this clash. We’re going with an Alloa win, which looks like great value ahead of this one. Dumbarton’s form suggests that they’re going to struggle in this clash, so we’re backing a home win along with a 1-0 correct score ahead of this huge play-off encounter.