Falkirk 2 Livingston 0: Bairns on easy street

All smiles for Peter Houston
All smiles for Peter Houston

Falkirk followed Peter Houston’s instructions to a tee and had the game won by half-time in a comprehensive first half.

The Bairns lost a last-gasp goal seven days ago, but even a similar fate, as unlikely as that would have been would not have been enough to take anything from the game.

Falkirk had done all their work in the first half - one of the most complete and comprehensive seen at Westfield.It had killed off Livingston within 16 minutes – just as Peter Houston had demanded after last week’s 2-2 mdraw with Raith Rovers.

Four minutes in the Bairns had their first chance when John Baird did well to keep the ball in play and found Taiwo whose cross was headed over by Craig Sibbald.

Sibbald was invovled and it was a header that gave them the lead - but the teenager was the supplier of a lovely weighted cross for Kieran Duffie’s late run into the box and he powered a header into the top corner.

Sibbald laid on the second too, being sent clear in the left channel of the penalty box and the return ball was lashed into the net by the Englishman.

Falkirk were cruising and fulfilling Peter Houston’s wish of killing teams off early. It could have been three had Vaulks’ strike not been tipped over by Jamieson and Baird been blocked by Shaun Rutherford.

Even Mark kerr was managing to get in on the target practise from his holding midfield role and he kept a powerful strike down but was blocked by Calum Fordyce.

The Bairns were spraying the ball around the entire width of the pitch, practically unchallenged with their opponents chasing shadows.

By the time the second half came round the Bairns had the game won, however they still attacked, only this time the crosses into the box and final pass had no end recipient.

Livingston had made two changes at the interval too and a switch to a more attacking formation as Mark Burchill went for broke and the visitors put up a much sterner fight in the second half. Compared to the first, it would not be difficult.

But Falkirk made a change of their own as Taylor Morgan replaced John Baird shortly after the hour-mark.

Morgan could have scored his first Falkirk goal on 73 minutes but unselfishly supplied fellow substitute David Smith with an open goal, but hadn’t spotted Shaun Rutherford who did enough to put the Bairn off and the ball sliced over the bar.

Former Bo’ness United player Scott Pittman replaced Rutherford on 77 minutes.

Jordan White, an ex-Bairn, could have scored for Livingston after Jacobs’ shot weas parried by MacDonald but White, who failed to settle at Falkirk, mishit his shot and it spun well wide.

Craig Sibbald was afforded a standing ovation when he went off with three minutes to go and though the game had settled down, Falkirk were by no means in any danger of losing it.

3601 (179 away) = 3780

Falkirk: MacDonald, Duffie, Leahy, Vaulks, McCracken, Grant, Kerr, Sibbald (Alston 87), Loy, Taiwo (Smith 69), Baird (Morgan 66). Subs: Dick, Bowman, Maybury, Blair, Morgan.

Livingston: Jamieson, Sives, Fordyce, Jacobs, Gallagher, O’Brien, Glen (Hippolyte 46), White, Mullen, Sekajja (McKenna 46), Rutherford (Pittman 77).

Subs: Cole, Beaumont, Walker, , Donaldson.