The New Year Festivities are finally starting to die down but for some the recovery process is still ongoing, so what better cure is there than a BUMPER EDITION of Loan Watch!
Zanatta stings twice as Wasps win two on the bounce
We had to start with Dario Zanatta who is absolutely flying with Alloa at the moment. The Canadian forward scored two goals over the festive period, which helped the Wasps to pull themselves away from the relegation dogfight in the Championship.
Just before Christmas, Jim Goodwin’s side hosted Queen of the South at the Indodrill Stadium. After a goalless first-half, in which Zanatta crashed a header against the Queens’ crossbar, Alloa flew out the traps and Iain Flannigan opened the scoring for the hosts with a superb free-kick.
The Wasps were unlucky not to have a penalty when Zanatta burst past two players into the area and appeared to be barged to the ground but the referee saw nothing wrong. Despite that, Queens couldn’t find a way back into the match and Zanatta killed the game off in the 91st minute after tapping home a rebound following Liam Burt’s effort to make it 2-0.
You can watch his goal and highlights of that game here.
Then on December 29th, Alloa were visited by promotion chasers Dundee United. On paper, it looked like Robbie Neilson’s side should win – but it was another late Zanatta stunner that secured an unlikely three points for the Wasps.
Callum Booth opened the scoring on the hour mark with a fantastic free-kick, only for Andy Graham’s header to level the score 13 minutes later. But, it was Zanatta – scoring against the man who gave him his Hearts debut – who settled the tie with just a minute left to play. The forward breezed past several United defenders before calmly slotting home to secure the 2-1 win and score his third goal in three games.
Hendo bags another in Montrose win
Euan Henderson was on the scoresheet again as Montrose coasted past Stenhousemuir 3-1 at Links Park.
On-loan Aberdeen man Chris Antoniazzi scored the first after 10 minutes before Henderson added one just before the half-hour mark, firing in a loose ball from a narrow angle. Captain Paul Watson added the third before Mark McGuigan got a consolation goal for Stenny.
The Gable Endies then picked up a 1-1 draw against league leaders Arbroath, despite being down to ten men. Paul Watson saw red just before half-time but despite that, Martin Rennie got the home side ahead with 15 minutes left after Terry Masson’s effort was parried straight to the striker.
However, Thomas O’Brien got the equaliser for Arbroath just two minutes later, heading in Jason Thomson’s delivery, and the game finished level.
Currie makes goal-scoring return as Fifers pick up another two wins
Rory Currie was in from the start as East Fife overcame Forfar Athletic 1-0 at New Bayview, with Lewis Moore also starting for Forfar. However, it was Currie who was on the winning side as Scott Agnew’s late goal sealed the points for the home side.
Next up was the Fife derby against Raith Rovers and it was another win for East Fife as Currie bagged what proved to be the winner in the 2-1 victory.
Aaron Dunsmore got the Fife to a flyer with a goal in the 12th minute before Currie got on the score sheet on the brink of half-time after he picked up a slack backpass and finished calmly past the keeper.
Lewis Vaughan got a late goal back for the Rovers to set up a dramatic finish but East Fife held on for the win, taking them to within three points of their Fife rivals.
Keena and Martin help Pars to derby win
Aidan Keena and Malaury Martin both featured as Dunfermline held promotion chasers Ayr United and then beat rivals Falkirk 4-2 in their own backyard.
Aidan started against Ayr in the draw at East End, with Malaury remaining on the bench in the goalless draw. The youngster came close to scoring in the first-half with an audacious back-heel but his effort was not on target. He also had a chance in the second-half, nutmegging his marker on the edge of the box and firing a shot towards goal but it was well saved by Ross Doohan.
The Irish striker also started the derby win over Falkirk at the Falkirk Stadium, with Malaury Martin coming on with three minutes to go. The Bairns took an early lead through a second-minute strike from Joe McKee who latched onto Zak Rudden’s back heel.
Myles Hippolyte struck in the 13th minute to restore parity and Tom Beadling put the Pars ahead just four minutes later. Keena had a great chance to stretch the lead but saw his goal bound effort blocked by Hippolyte.
English midfielder Beadling got his second just after half-time before on-loan Hearts man Andy Irving was subbed on for the hosts, but he could do nothing to stop James Vincent killing the game off after he picked up Aidan Keena’s lay off, dribbled past his man and fired low into the corner.
Scott Harrison was able to get a goal back for Falkirk but in the end it was nothing more than a consolation.
Irving’s Bairns can’t pick up Christmas points
As mentioned above, Andy Irving was a second-half substitute when the Bairns fell to arch-rivals Dunfermline at the Falkirk Stadium.
He was limited to the same amount of action in the previous game before Christmas against Dundee United when the Terrors ran out 2-1 winners.
Sam Stanton opened the scoring at Tannadice before Pavol Safranko extended the lead just after half-time. Irving was introduced just after the hour-mark but team-mate Paul Paton saw red just four minutes later and it would be an uphill struggle from then.
The cards were flying about, with Falkirk picking up five yellow cards as well as the red, and Dundee United seeing three bookings of their own. Aaron Muirhead slotted away a 92nd minute penalty for the visitors to set up a final few moments but the hosts held on for the victory.
Sammon helps ‘Well to derby win over Hamilton
Connor Sammon was involved in two of Motherwell games over the Christmas period, including the Lanarkshire derby win over Hamilton Accies.
Firstly, ‘Well lost to relegation candidates St Mirren who only recorded their third win of the season thanks to Simeon Jackson‘s goal, with Sammon introduced in the final ten minutes. Ryan Edwards started the match for the Buddies – it was the only fixture he played over the festive fixtures.
After a tough loss against Kilmarnock, the Steelmen finished the year on a high as they beat Hamilton 2-1 at New Douglas Park. Sammon started the match, but it was the Accies’ who went ahead through skipper Dougie Imrie. A fantastic volley from Tom Aldred levelled the match and the centre-half struck again in the second-half, reacting first to a spilt cross to stick it home and secure the win for Stephen Robinson’s men.