Falkirk 1 QOS 4: Worst start since relegation

Aaron Muirhead was subbed at half-time last week, but completed 90 minutes this week. Picture Michael Gillen
Aaron Muirhead was subbed at half-time last week, but completed 90 minutes this week. Picture Michael Gillen

Boos rang around The Falkirk Stadium at half-time and full-time as Falkirk fell to yet another multi-goal defeat.

A Stephen Dobbie hat-trick followed an early header from Jason Kerr to consign the Bairns to bottom spot in the Ladbrokes SPFL Championship.

Restored to the team, Rory Loy couldn't find the net. Picture Michael Gillen

Restored to the team, Rory Loy couldn't find the net. Picture Michael Gillen

After conceding just once in their four League Cup group games, Falkirk have since allowed 13 in five games – including this four-goal haul for the Doonhamers.

That cause wasn’t aided by Peter Grant pulling up in the warm-up and re-instating Paul Watson to the starting lineup.

Peter Houston called for a reaction after the humbling 3-1 loss in Dunfermline last week, but they barely had a chance to answer their fiercest critics from seven days prior as Queens took the lead within 70 seconds.

Callum Tapping’s corner was nodded across goal by Darren Brownlie and knocked in by Kerr close in.

Loy scooped this glorious chance over from close range. Picture Michael Gillen.

Loy scooped this glorious chance over from close range. Picture Michael Gillen.

It unsettled Falkirk then Tapping and Dobbie made it a much more uncomfortable afternoon. The former, a local to Falkirk, jinked past three defenders before pulling a shot wide from 12 yards in what should have been a goal. It was a reprieve but served as a warning to the Bairns, one that went unheeded.

Rory Loy spurned the Bairns’ best opportunity, knocking a close-range header over after a Luca Gasparotto flick-on but more often than not the Doonhamers defence was keeping the Bairns at bay and out of the danger area.

That forced Falkirk to play around the visitors’ box much to the frustrations of the home fans. One such scenario created the opening for Queens’ second four minutes from the interval when Tony Gallacher was robbed by Tapping on the right wing and he launched a counter attack with a blistering run up the right. James Craigen covered the young left-back but Tapping got the better of him too before lacing a ball between two defenders to Lyndon Dykes. A low cross was dispatched by Stephen Dobbie and the Bairns went into the break 2-0 down.

They were further behind seconds after the re-start when Dobbie lashed a stunner from 20yards into Thomson’s top corner straight from kick-off.

Kevin O'Hara put in a shift up front. Picture Michael Gillen.

Kevin O'Hara put in a shift up front. Picture Michael Gillen.

The half-time substitution of Craigen for Nathan Austin and a shift to 4-3-3 hadn’t had time to take effect, and the game was up. Even more so when Luca Gasparotto kicked over Lyndon Dykes at the edge of the area, and Dobbie smashed in the penalty for his hat-trick.

Falkirk offered little going forward, Alex Harris showed some desire and Peter Houston pitched under-20s development captain Cameron Blues into the middle to replace Rory Loy

and revert to a more characteristic formation.

Gasparotto nodded in a consolation at the end for the fans left behind to see it – but even the goal wasn’t greeteed by the typical ‘Amarillo’ chorus.

Stephen Dobbie was the thorn in the Bairns' side. And not for the first time. Picture Michael Gillen.

Stephen Dobbie was the thorn in the Bairns' side. And not for the first time. Picture Michael Gillen.

Instead it was he boos rang out at the end of the match, consigning Falkirk to their worst start to a season since they were relegated from the top division in 2009-10.