Falkirk 2 Dumbarton 2: Fine goals and frustration

Luke Leahy doesn't score ordinary goals. Pic by Michael Gillen.
Luke Leahy doesn't score ordinary goals. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Football fans were treated to some fantastic goals at The Falkirk Stadium, but Falkirk were frustrated by mid-table Dumbarton.

The Bairns led through a cracker from Luke Leahy but an equally impressive brace of strikes for the Sons, from Lewis Vaughan and Andy Stirling sent the visitors ahead before Nathan Austin levelled for Falkirk.

Alan Martin had little chance with the opener. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Alan Martin had little chance with the opener. Pic by Michael Gillen.

It had been the Bairns who were calling the play for much of the first half, but couldn’t find a way beyond Alan Martin before Leahy’s wonder-strike.

Headers from Austin went wide before Martin foiled other aerial efforts from the striker and Myles Hippolyte.

It was simply a case of Falkirk trying to unlock the stingy Sons’ backline and still they tried, until left-back Leahy barged the door down with a rocket volley out of nothing.

It was a carbon copy of the defender’s stunner last season at Livingston which won the club’s in-house goal of the season award and this one was every bit as special.

Players congratulated Luke Leahy on another cracker from the left-back. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Players congratulated Luke Leahy on another cracker from the left-back. Pic by Michael Gillen.

However the lead it gave the Bairns barely lasted a minute. Lewis Vaughan was given far too much room on the Dumbarton response straight from the restart and he sent a 25-yard strike into the top corner, giving Danny Rogers no chance.

From Falkirk calling the plays the Sons finished the first half strongest and Peter Houston was furious with his side’s immediate concession.

It got worse after the break for the Bairns’ boss, but it was another great goal.

Craig Sibbald ran himself into a cul-de-sac towards the Bairns’ left-wing, chased by Christian Nade and Stirling. The latter robbed him of possession and advanced 25-yards before firing into the top corner again from 20-yards out to send the Sons ahead.

Last week’s match with Morton was a see-saw affair for Falkirk and this was no different with the Bairns restoring parity through all-action forward Austin.

He seized on the loose ball in the area, from a Craig Sibbald pass deflected on by Hippolyte’s knee and curled into the top corner from close range. Dumbarton appeals for offside were dismissed and the scores tied at 2-2.

Moments earlier Paul Watson thought he’d given his side their second with a close-range shot through a ruck of players which Darren Barr hacked off the goal-line – though many thought the ball was over it. James Craigen also went close with a wickedly curling strike that swept just wide of Martin’s far post. He saw a late drive smack the upright too as the Bairns pushed for the winner.

The game finished end to end and Gregor Buchanan was unlucky not to see a header converted late on, as it clipped the crossbar on its way over.

Peter Houston pitched in late goal specialist Bob McHugh, alongside John Baird, for the conclusion, and the Bairns duo helped the ball into the net for what Falkirk thought was the winner, but Mat Northcroft’s whistle had already blown for an infringement.