Late Counter Costs Points
After many were fondled by over eager ‘security’ staff the Rovers support swapped stories of how near to Dumbarton they had got last week before the postponement… When the team lines were read over the PA the discussion turned to the return of Grant Murray in central defence, he was joined in the 16 by loanee Josh Watt on the bench.
The game kicked off in-front of a sparse crowd and Walker was back in the middle with Hamill wide left. Falkirk won an early corner which was followed by Brain Graham’s header over from a long throw. Hamill played in Graham well but the home defence broke up the move. A Murray free kick in the 11th minute found Grant Anderson who’s cross found Graham. The front man’s effort was half blocked and fell to Walker who was in an offside position.
Thomson – who was the Rovers best player – skied a shot on the end of a break before Hamill found himself in space just inside the box and despite having time failed to hit the target with the goal at his mercy. Falkirk weren’t doing much and a lucky break off the referee in the centre circle saw Malone make a great tackle on a running Bairn. Ellis did similarly well when Higgins tried to get forward. In the 29th minute the Rovers took the lead. Thomson drove down the line and his low cross from the by-line was easy for Brian Grahamto knock past McGovern from the near post.
There was no reaction from the home side and it wasn’t until the 41st minute that the home side half threatened, Grant Anderson was on hand to tackle well before a shot was taken. In the 43rd minute Joe Hamill tried again volleying first time from a cross. The shot was struck with real venom but flashed across goal, if he’d hit the target he’d have burst the net.
Lyle Taylor – who’d been well marshalled by Ellis – didn’t return for the second half and this forced the home side to change their play. Many will see their reliance on him as making their play one dimensional and as the game went on the home side looked more dangerous. In the 49th minute the Rovers fans were disappointed to see Graham getting in the way, despite his efforts not to, of Hamill and as a result Joe’s effort from 9 yards didn’t test McGovern. The 55th minute saw Falkirk’s first attempt on goal a low shot from McGrandles straight at McGurn. On the hour Murray’s free header from a corner went wide to his obvious disappointment as the Rovers looked more likely to score again. Thomson pushed on again and Graham closed down the ponderous Flynn but Walker’s shot went wide.
Pressley threw on his final subs in only the 63rd minute and McGurn was called into action again a couple of minutes later saving low. A Thomson cross seemed to be helped out of the box by a flailing Dods arm before Watt replaced Grant Anderson. Falkirk at last caused problems in the 72nd when McGurn did well saving at the near post and then blocked the follow up effort as the lineman raised his flag. Murdoch shot wide then Watt did well but his cross went behind Walker.
Into the last 10 minutes Walker’s defensive header saw a good save from McGurn. As time ran out Hamill gave away the cheapest corner many had seen in ages as the home side continued to push on. The Rovers were sitting deeper and defending more desperately. In the 92nd minute the Bairn’s fourth second half corner was headed home by Murdoch to the joy of the Falkirk fans who hadn’t gone early. Stuart Anderson had the last effort when his low shot from 23 yards went wide.
Having checked they hadn’t had their pockets picked by a man in yellow on arrival many Rovers fans would have taken a point before kick-off, however they left disappointed by another late goal costing points.
Report – John Mainland
Photographs copyright Eddie Doig, edited by Tony Fimister.