Falkirk 1 Rangers 1: Bairns held at home

Rory Loy scored against his former side
Rory Loy scored against his former side
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Falkirk’s excellent record stretched on with a 1-1 draw at home to Rangers.

The Glasgow side remain the only Championship side to avoid defeat against the Bairns and Falkirk had their chances to right that record.

Instead it was only the form of one defeat in 15 matches that carries on as the rich vein of form continues.

Rory Loy headed Falkirk’s first half equaliser after Darren McGregor fired Rangers ahead and Loy could have had a penalty late on, but stayed upright to fire wide in the 89th minute.

Falkirk enjoyed more possession of the first half and played more of the game attacking Lee Robinson’s goal, but still Rangers were a threat whenever they pressed forward.

The visitors took the lead against the run of play with defensive uncertainty sweeping over the Bairns in Rangers’ first two attacks.

Just a minute after Nicky Clark rammed Rangers first meaningful effort against David McCracken, the striker watched team-mate Darren McGregor put Kenny McDowall’s team a goal up.

The ball wasn’t cleared in a cluster of Falkirk players just a few yards from Jamie MacDonald’s goal-line. The ball fell to McGregor and he rammed it into the net for the 19th minute opener.

But two minutes later the Bairns were level.

Sibbald carried the ball forward - and Rangers allowed the playmaker far to much space throughout the first 45 minutes - then fed it wide to Baird whose inch perfect cross was glanced into the net by Dundee-bound Rory Loy against his boyhood heroes.

The Bairns had the goal they deserved and they had gone close several times, forcing corners from blocked shots and Will Vaulks fizzed one strike just wide of the post.

MacDonald though kept the Bairns in it.

Another two minutes after the equaliser Rangers pressed forward and the Falkirk goalkeeper swatted away a Kris Boyd backpost header that was destined to sneak neatly into the top corner.

Falkirk did not look comfortable in defence, particularly Grant and McCracken against the more mobile Nicky Clark, while Harris Vuckic was involving himself in the game often for the visitors.

Most of the Bairns play came down the left in the first half and so it continued in the second which opened with Luke Leahy shooting over powerfully.

What followed though was aerial punts and headers, mostly from Bilel Mohsni before both sides began making needless errors that broke up play and the stuttering nature restricted the ball to the middle of the park.

Goalmouth chances were at a premium, the creative players like Craig Sibbald and Vuckic saw little of the ball though Rory Loy went close on 72 minutes after finding space in the box but the shot was blocked by the chest of Seb Faure.

Both managers made changes with 15 minutes to go as Blair Alston replaced the Bairns’ Tom Taiwo and Kenny MacDowall replaced Vuckic and Andrew Murdoch with David Templeton and Kenny Miller.

Mark Kerr was booked for a trip on the edge of the box on Templeton and Boyd blasted the free kick wide but Rory Loy could have pinched it - twice in the final moments of the regulation 90 before five minutes of added time were played.

The Bairns striker charged down Lee Robinson’s kick out and the ball could have gone anywhere... but it trickled wide for a throw. But as Falkirk maintained the pressure Loy got the better of Darren McGregor in the box and was pulled back as he crossed. He could have tumbled and had a legitimate claim for a penalty but stayed up and went close by firing across goal.

It was a frantic finish with six extra minutes played but the points were shared.

Attendance: 4223 home 3269 away 7494