Late Counter Costs Points

Grant Murray back in action

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.

Graham scores

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.

Grant Anderson sheilds the ball from Duffie

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.

Josh Watt

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.

Live Updates

The only change for Falkirk from Saturday is Higgins starts ahead of Grant who takes his place on the bench.
Raith have Grant Murray back in the side, Mensing out injured and Joshua Watt has a place on the bench.
Rovers kick off towards the South stand.
Stuart Anderson heads just over from six yards.
Taylor forces a corner, Rovers clear.
Thomson played a one, two with Graham but his shot goes high and wide.
Hamill with just the goalkeeper to beat shoots over from the edge of the box.
Taylor runs through but can't beat the offside trap.
Grant Anderson receives advice from the referee about how not to tackle.
Plenty huff and puff in cold conditions but no clear threat from either side.
Thomson the provider from the bye line into Graham who slotted the ball past McGovern from close range.
Grant Anderson receives treatment from the Falkirk defence then the physio.
Walker runs through but loses his balance and sclaffs the ball away.
Bert denies Alston on the six yard line, Laurie clears.
Hamill rockets an 18 yarder just wide.
Taylor off, Small on.
Grant Anderson receives a yellow for fouling.
Thomson played a great ball across the goal, Graham sidesteps to allow Hamill the shot but his tame shot is cleared.
Walker flights a free kick into the box, Clarke skies the attempt.
Higgins hits a right foot shot straight to McGurn.
Higgins flights a long free kick into the box, McGurn cuts through the throng to collect at the back post.
Hamill with a left footed inswinging corner finds Murray who headed wide.
Good work from Thomson sees the ball to Walker but his effort goes over.
Higgins & McGrandles off, Fulton & Grant on.
Duffie tries from range, McGurn saves low to his left.
Falkirk pressing without edge.
McGurn gathers a loose ball and clears.
Grant Anderson off, Watt on.
Panic in the box, McGurn makes a double save but the original ball was out of play.
Clarke gets a yellow for bringing down Murdoch.
Walker saves the blushes of the defence with low clearance.
Graham yellow for persistent fouling.
Fulton yellow for fouling Graham.
Watt jinks past two defenders but no one met his cross.
+1 Falkirk pressing for the equaliser, Raith absorb the late pressure.
+3 it's been coming, Falkirk equalise through Murdoch.
+4 Anderson drives the ball past the post, the ref blows full time.