Falkirk 1 Dumbarton 0: Alston lights up horrible day

Falkirk celebrate Blair Alston's strike
Falkirk celebrate Blair Alston's strike

Blair Alston’s Christmas cracker gave Falkirk the three points.

The Bairns can now go either joint second even or one point off the top with a win against Livingston on Tuesday night.

Prior to the game Falkirk insisted the win at Rangers was worthless if they didn’t take care of Dumbarton and the forthcoming matches with Livingston and Alloa and they made the first step towards that objective, but it wasn’t pretty or particularly pleasant, despite Alston’s strike.

It was an inhospitable afternoon, with driving rain, which eased only once Falkirk were ahead through a wonderful strike from Alston.

Kevin O’Hara stood out for being particularly lively in a fairly pedestrian performance from both sides. But though the youngster was put through several times by his team-mates his first goal for the club is still to come. Dumbarton marshalled the 17-year-old well, and generally packed out the defence and it needed a moment of brilliance from Alston to break the deadlock.

The Sons rarely threatened but on the two occasions they did, they caught Falkirk out.

In the first Kevin Cawley got the wrong side of Aaron Muirhead and his cut-back from the by-line as booted clear by Luke Leahy. The second, much later came when Jordan Kirkpatrick flashed a shot over from the edge of the area.

But by then the Bairns were already ahead. They’d knocked the door several times but not really come close to scoring.

Then Blair Alston let a Will Vaulks quick freekick slip through his legs, spun and unleashed a rocket into the top corner from 20 yards. It was a howitzer and ranks high even during a season which has seen many stunning strikes from the Bairns already. The Falkirk TV end of season highlights will be a treat come the gala awards night.

The glitz and the glamour were far from the match though

After the break, with Falkirk attacking the empty north stand since losing the coin-toss at kick-off, saw Jo0hn Baird smash a shot off Frazer Wright for a corner that David McCracken headed past.

Overall the second period didn’t enthrall with Falkirk again pressing but not getting much joy. Introducing Lee Miller to the fray for tireless youngster O’Hara didn’t do miuch to improve things and the Bairns and Sons began to make a series of errors each as bad as the other, slicing cleatrances, misplacing passes and communication mix-ups creeping in on both sides.

Things were still nervy going into the final ten minutes and late on Falkirk were hacking clear from the edge of the area but the three points stayed at Falkirk who can now go second, or a point off the top, with a win on Tuesday.