Bairns three from Championship lead: Falkirk 2-0 Cowdenbeath

Pic Lisa McPhillips 18/10/2013'Scottish Championship,Cowdenbeath FC  v Falkirk FC'Cowdenbeaths John Armstrong and Kenneth Adamson, Falkirks Phill Roberts
Pic Lisa McPhillips 18/10/2013'Scottish Championship,Cowdenbeath FC v Falkirk FC'Cowdenbeaths John Armstrong and Kenneth Adamson, Falkirks Phill Roberts

Mark Millar and Rory Loy strikes moved Falkirk three points from the top of the table ahead of next week’s match with leaders Dundee.

It was a nervous first half where either side could have laid claim to the lead but the second half saw Falkirk exert their class and dominance with a scoreline of 2-0.

Pic Lisa McPhillips 18/10/2013'Scottish Championship,Cowdenbeath FC  v Falkirk FC'Rory Loy cele 0-2

Pic Lisa McPhillips 18/10/2013'Scottish Championship,Cowdenbeath FC v Falkirk FC'Rory Loy cele 0-2

The Bairns had a handful of chances in both halves, but took a pair early in the second period to seal the three points at a ground where they have lost twice in the past three visits.

Mark Millar caught Cowdenbeath napping on 53 minutes and as the Blue Brazil reeled from conceding, Rory Loy swiveled and scored a lovely second.

Blair Alston and Jonny Flynn were restored to the side and it was the latter who was left standing by Kane Hemmings as the Cowdenbeath danger-man cut in off the right touchline but fired straight at Michael McGovern. His former team-mate at Rangers, Rory Loy had Bairns first attempt on goal after seven minutes, curling harmlessly at Thomas Flynn.

Hemmings again went close and caused panic in the Bairns box on 12 minutes with McGovern, Vaulks and Flynn in a pickle as the goalkeeper was acting as an involuntary sweeper and rushing from his goal frequently to combat Hemmings’ threat.

A great move from Falkirk after 19 minutes saw them almost cash in. Will Vaulks robbed David Gold on the right wing with a very fair but powerful barge and swept the ball inside, it travelled across the park to Balir Alston whose one touch sent Phil Roberts into the area, but the striker dragged the shot wide.

Roberts had been in the thick of things for the Bairns, heading corners clear, throwing himself into tackles and generally mucking in with Alston on the opposite side doing the same behind Rory Loy. That left Craig Sibbald and Millar to anchor the midfield and Conor McGrandles free reign in the centre.

Vaulks had a header from a Millar corner and appeared to be cleared by Rory Loy close in, but Cowdenbeath went even closer when Phil Roberts was robbed by Stevenson and the former Morton and Shire man curled the ball inches wide of Michael McGovern’s left-hand post.

Falkirk responded immediately on the half-hour with a Blair Alston counter attack but his effort earned a corner comfrotably taken by Flynn. The keeper was nowhere seven minutes from the break when an Alston strike skimmed across the muddy surface and almost sneaked in at the post, and narrowly avoided bith the woodwork and Rory Loy’s desparate foot-first dive to connect and nudge the Bairns into the lead.

Michael McGovern kept the hopes alive by foiling Adamson close in befroe the roles were reversed and Alston was inches away from knocking a Loy pass over the line close-in.

With an incredible save, Michael McGovern palmed out a Greig Stewart header five minutes into the second half after the Cowdenbeath striker, who scored the winner the last time the sides met at the stock car circuit, made good connection to a Kane Hemmings cross.

A similarly despairing save - but a little more desperate - was made by Thomas Flynn to keep out a Craig Sibbald drive that Rory Loy deflected before the goalkeeper could push it out. But quick thinking from Falkirk gave them the decisive breakthrough.

From the corner, Millar spun on the edge of the box to thunder the ball into the net from just shy of 20 yards. It was exquisite, but Rory Loy’s was a touch of class. Taking a ball from the right wing Loy cushioned the ball around Cowden captain John Armstrong and stepped backwards and drove the ball beyond Flynn.

The Blue Brazil had responded with McGovern forced into an excellent double save to foil Hemmings and Gold but Loy’s strike took the sting out of the tie and had the Bairns fans singing.

Alston was next to test the Cowdenbeath goalie with a strike he scrambled out then another that took a deflection and skipped just by the post. Each time the ball flew at Flynn it was possible the Bairns would find the net again, but they had done enough to cut the deficit behind Hamilton to one point, and Dundee to three.

Phillip Roberts could have rounded off a great team performance from every Bairn in the 90th nminute but after a lung-bursting 60-yard run from Rory Loy his strike partner blazed over the goal from 12 yards out.