Dunfermline Athletic

Kevin O’Hara Wasp killer

Thursday, 29th Apr 2021

Kevin started 34 matches and scored 14 goals for the Wasps last season, he confessed that he will always look positively on his one season at Alloa

When the two Athletics, Alloa and Dunfermline meet on Friday night it will be two teams with diversely contrasting fortunes. Kevin O’Hara Alloa’s top goalscorer last season returns to his former club knowing it is their last game in Championship. Dunfermline however travel along the A907 seeking a confidence boosting win to take them into the Premiership play offs. Kevin expressed his disappointment at what’s happened to Alloa this season, adding:-

“It’s sad to see, because the club and the players and the manager were so good for me. We’ve got to focus on ourselves and go and win the game but it will be good to go and see all the boys again and console them. It’s been a tough season for them but I hope they bounce right back up, and I’m sure they will.”

Kevin started 34 matches and scored 14 goals for the Wasps last season, he confessed that he will always look positively on his one season at Alloa:-

“I can’t thank the club enough, and Peter Grant, for what they did for me. It was excellent and if it wasn’t for them, you never know, I might not be at Dunfermline right now. They gave me that platform last season to play week-in, week-out and show my qualities and I’ll always thank the club.”

Dunfermline train at Alloa’s Indodrill Stadium but he has played there once since he left and it is unlikely that anyone there will forget that in a hurry. On his return he hit a hattrick after coming on midway through the second half. He continued:-

“I know it’s your old club but you’ve got to play for the one you’re playing for. At the end of day, I’m professional and you’ve got to go and do the job and what’s right for the team. I know that’s maybe harsh on Alloa but you’ve just got to do what you can do for your team.

“It was a good game. I was disappointed not to be starting right from the off, but you’ve got to have an impact when you come off the bench and maybe show the manager that you should have been playing.

“That’s what I did in that game. I never really played any differently to what I would normally, I just got the chances and stuck them away.”

With 17 starts from a possible 33 matches at Dunfermline, the former Scotland U16 and U19 internationalist has grasped the opportunity recently, making up for lost time by starting all eight of the last matches and hitting four goals.

“I’ve been champing at the bit to be in the team and recently I have been, which is brilliant. That’s why you work hard every day, to be in the team on a Saturday. I’m reaping the rewards now for the hard work that I’ve put in. I’m getting in the team and scoring the goals.”

His goal tally for the season to date is eleven so given that 13 of his 30 appearances have been off the bench, a decent return:-

“It has been a good season for me on the goal front, but if I’m going to be picky I would rather have had more minutes on the pitch as well - plus the goals.”

Kevin revealed that last weekend’s goal against Arbroath was one of his favourites. His 15th minute goal felt good because it came from persistent appeals from him for his full backs to give him something to run on to:-

“I have spoken with Josh and with Aaron numerous times about just putting the ball in the channel for me to run on to. That’s probably one of my strengths, to run the channels, and obviously when I go there on Saturday I was selfish and went myself.

“That paid off because it was just one touch to control it after it landed. I cut inside and slid it by the goalie. Sometimes that’s what you have to do. It was a good goal and a well-worked goal, to be fair.”

Stevie Crawford was delighted to watch his three strikers click and scoring goals. Kevin said it was a good feeling:-

“Even in training, we’re looking sharp. We work on waves of attacks so we’re on the same wavelength and right now it’s working really well with Deccy being just in behind and me and Wighty up front.

“With Deccy being in there, he sees the passes for the runs that me and Craig are making. It’s really benefiting me and Craig and even Dom and Hendo that Deccy’s playing that role.”

Declan McManus’ pedigree as a goalscorer has proven to be a benefit when he has been asked to play the no.10 role but Kevin is not surprised by the success:-

“He’s always been a goalscorer but he’s a clever player and he can use his body well and have a fight in the middle of the park. But he’s got good quality and he’s clever and can see the passes when we make the run. I think we make it easier for him and he makes it easier for us.

“We speak about it before the game and even in training, that if Deccy gets on the half turn then I know that’s my cue to get on my bike and to spin in behind. I think it’s the same with Craig.”

The arrival of Craig Wighton, who Kevin has known since his days with the Scotland U19’s, has complemented his play despite their similar styles:-

“It’s always good when competition comes in because it will bring out the best in me as well. I’m really enjoying playing up front with Whitey just now, it’s working well at the moment, and hopefully it continues.”

The manager’s way of including of all three - O’Hara, Wighton and McManus - has worked well in recent matches and Kevin agreed that has been good on a personal note:-

“That’s what I’ve been champing at the bit for. With Deccy playing that role it helps get the three of us and so far it’s working. The manager always says take the ball, even if you’re losing it but if you try stuff in the final third, the best thing to do if it doesn’t come off, is just go and win it back straight away.

“That’s what we’ve been doing. We’re trying to press teams higher up the pitch and I think it’s working because even if we’re affecting the big long ball they’re playing it will still drop to one of our players, or we nick it higher up the pitch. It works in our favour if we can go and win it back early.

“Obviously, I hope he sticks with that formation and that team because, at the end of the day, I’m in that team and playing, and that’s what I want to be doing. If the manager changes it, that’s up to him, but I think it’s working well just now and the boys are enjoying playing in that shape, with a bit of freedom. We maybe need to watch that we don’t get counter-attacked when we’re free-flowing. Maybe we have to balance it up a bit more.”

While the Pars hope to take momentum into the play-offs, Kevin is conscious that there is a job still to be done on Friday night:-

“The play-offs are in the backs of our minds just now. We want to focus on the Alloa game, it’s still a big game and it will be a tough game. It’s their last game in the Championship this season and they’ll want to go out on a high.

“We want to go and finish the game strongly and finish the season off really well. That will give us confidence going into the play-offs but at this moment in time we’re just focusing on Alloa and the threats they’re going to cause us.”



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