Falkirk 2 Hamilton 3: Accies edge out Bairns in friendly

Scott Shepherd of Falkirk bursts past Hamilton's Craig Watson. Picture: Alan Murray
Scott Shepherd of Falkirk bursts past Hamilton's Craig Watson. Picture: Alan Murray

Some friendlies are viewed as little more than meaningless bounce games by fans but this match served an important purpose.

While the 90 minutes allowed Peter Houston to test his Bairns squad against Premiership opposition, the main beneficiary of the evening was the Craig Gowans charitable trust which received all gate money collected.

Craig Sibbald tussles for the ball

Craig Sibbald tussles for the ball

Set up in memory of the Bairns youth player who was tragically killed in a training ground accident in 2005, the trust can expect at least a four-figure sum from tonight’s game.

The opening 30 minutes were tough viewing for Falkirk fans. Hamilton started by far the brighter and former Raith striker Christian Nade fired a shot against the post with barely four minutes on the clock.

Two minutes later and the North Lanarkshire club were in front. Louis Longridge fired an inviting cross into the Falkirk six yard box which was duly headed home by Lucas Tagliapietra from close range.

Longridge was again the provider for Accies’ second goal. A sharp cross was nodded home by Nade who easily shrugged off his marker.

Bairns boss Houston stuck with the same 11 players for the beginning of the second half, but changes were made within 10 minutes with the introduction of Leahy, Smith and Cooper as Dick, McCracken and Shepherd making way.

The subs made an almost an immediate impact as Falkirk pulled a goal back on 56 minutes. Maybury’s cross found John Baird, whose shot was well blocked by the Accies keeper, only for Cooper to net the rebound.

Hamilton regained their two goal advantage with 70 minutes played. Graham Bowman failed to reach Mark Kerr’s weak back pass and Accies’ Dougie Imrie took full advantage - stealing the ball from the goalkeeper’s toes before rolling into the empty Bairns net.

A smart save from Bowman prevented Hamilton trialist Morris from adding a fourth goal late on.

And with the last kick of the game Peter Grant added a second for the Bairns from close range.