Falkirk 0 Dundee United 0: Messy point gained

Falkirk are still without a win. Picture Michael Gillen.
Falkirk are still without a win. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk are still waiting for that first league win of the season and moved a point clear of the bottom spot in the SPFL Championship with this draw.

In a match strewn with errors and very little chances, it could have gone either way with both sides as unpredictable as the other.

16-09-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Dundee United. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.

16-09-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Dundee United. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.

A mistake could have decided it, and there were several with balls being passed out of play and or to opposition players, but none costly as United picked up a point at Falkirk Stadium - something they didn’t manage at all last term.

But those heady days for Falkirk, playing United in pulsating play-off clashes and thumping them at home in the league seem a distant memory - and the performances do to based on the 90 minutes.

A header each was the most the sides threatened – both Scott McDonald and Craig Sibbald headed over but Harry lewis in the United goal only had one save to make.

That said, the Bairns kept a clean sheet for the first time since the Betfred Cup group stage, which pleased Peter Houston.

16-09-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Dundee United. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.

16-09-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Dundee United. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.

A non-event of a first half strewn with unforced errors turned into an incident-packed game, but not really for the right footballing reasons.

Mistakes were commonplace, as two nervous teams started the game and slowly but surely became careless. Possession flitted one way then the other, and the only chance really came when Craig Sibbald headed a Tony Gallacher cross onto the bar after 38 minutes. The Bairns dugout wanted a corner, as Harry Lewis was close to tipping it over – and still might have done – but John Beaton gave the goal kick and a ticking off to Peter Houston for his protests.

But in the second half both sides had a go, clearly buoyed by an opposition each deemed there for the taking. Falkirk, and in particular Alex Harris, were positive and the crowd in the south stand was on their feet several times as the winger took on, and got the better of, the Terrors’ defence and wingers.

However there was a lack of cutting edge, from both teams, and the excitement of the early period of the first half soon resorted to type and neither managed much in the way of passages of play as full-time loomed.

16-09-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Dundee United. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.

16-09-2017. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Dundee United. SPFL Ladbrokes Championship.

A looped overhit backpass from Conrad Balatoni caught Robbie Thomson out of position but he recovered to boot clear from the six-yard area, and then a speculative cross by McMullan caught out the Bairns keeper and caught the outside of the post.

United then enjoyed a spell in Falkirk’s half, but without really testing Robbie Thomson who cleared a handful of crosses before John Beaton called a halt to the game handing the Bairns a third point of the season and a rare clean sheet against the pre-season title favourites.