Poor fare at Falkirk

Last updated : 02 May 2009 By Firparkcorner

The news that O'Brien, Craigan and Quinn failed to make the initial line-up gave rise to thoughts that we might have seen some youngsters blooded from the start but the manager merely shuffled the pack and McLean, Lasley (captain) and Fitzpatrick were preferred.

The first goal came after 8 minutes in the first goalmouth action of the untidy opening spell. McLean's ill-judged header put Hammell under pressure and Falkirk gained possession. The resulting cross allowed McCann to suck in defenders on the six yard line and he was able to supply Finnigan with the simplest of tap-ins from his unmarked position at the Smith's left post.

The away fans got their first thrill in 20 minutes when a harmless attempt from Clarkson was headed goalwards by Barr but Mallo was alert to the danger. After the half hour we managed to counter the home side's domination and with the help of 8 corner kicks in the first half we looked to put some pressure on the Falkirk goal but our play was littered with poor touches and misplaced passes.

Smith had to produce a fine one handed save from Stewart minutes before the break and then a Scobbie header flashed by the post to let us get to the dressing room for what had surely to be a dressing down from the manager.

Graeme Smith had all 291 away fans behind him for the second period and they hoped for a better display to cheer. Inside ten minutes it was clear that we were making no progress and McGhee made a double substitution. Murphy and Sheridan were fielded at the expense of Sutton and McGarry. The change did produce a goal but it was Falkirk's  Scobbie who celebrated. Again, McCann was the provider this time from a corner and the scorer was unchallenged as he headed high beyond Smith.

We got an undeserved lifeline with twenty minutes remaining. Clarkson was tripped as he was about to shoot from six yards and he duly netted after Aafjes was sent off. Falkirk rang the changes to shut up shop with their ten men and we continued to huff and puff. They could have avoided a stressful last fifteen minutes had they taken any of the many clear cut chances they created.

One of 8 first half corners

Hughes had a blast at the keeper before the game swept back to Smith's goal for another let off. The referee added three minutes but he could have added thirty without changing the outcome.

If McGhee uses this game as an indicator of net season's squad then he'll have us playing in a five-a-side league.