Falkirk 2 QOS 2: Bairns drop two more points

Myles Hippolyte nets Falkirk's first goal against Queen of the South
Myles Hippolyte nets Falkirk's first goal against Queen of the South

Local Cubs, marking the end of their Centenary Year, provided the guard of honour as both teams took the park for Falkirk’s match with Queen of the South.

But Bairns boss Peter Houston is certainly not going to Be Prepared to accept any more sub-standard displays like this one.

The manager gave his usual frank and honest post-match assessment and made it clear that it’s time to make changes. It was another off-key performance and in truth a draw was about fair.

Falkirk started well enough and sprayed the ball around with the confidence of a team that was at the top end of the table.

Queens, in their second game under new management, looked hesitant and nothing like the team that had led the league earlier in the campaign.

Neither keeper had been called on to make a save in the opening 15 minutes, despite all the impressive possession play. Jamie Hamill’s deflected shot, which spun harmlessly into the arms of Bairns keeper Danny Rogers, was the nearest we got to a ‘highlight’ in an uninspiring opening period.

Falkirk came alive with a fast break down their right and Myles Hippolyte’s cross found John Baird whose shot on the turn rebounded off keeper Lee Robinson’s legs.

At the other end, Stephen Dobbie fired a left-footed drive inches wide of Rogers’ right-hand post.

The game had suddenly sparked into life and John Baird went close again when he tried to lob Robinson from the edge of the box, but the Queens keeper gathered safely.

Falkirk looked the likelier side to break the deadlock, but Queens were well organised and looked capable of hitting on the break.

They shocked the home fans in 34 minutes when they did just that, won a few vital tackles and Stephen Dobbie fired low into the corner of the net, despite Rogers getting a touch to the ball.

The home support grew increasingly frustrated at the number of misplaced passes and the lack of an end product to periods of possession.

Queens were clearly increasing in self-belief and as the interval approached, it was looking ominous.

Cometh the hour and cometh the man. With 47 minutes on the clock, Hippolyte fired a brilliant free kick home from the edge of the box to equalise right on the stroke of half-time. It was badly needed and made manager Peter Houston’s half-time talk a bit easier.

Hippolyte tried an ambitious volley from the left of the box as Falkirk started the second half in lively fashion.

Lyle almost restored Queens lead but he miss-hit an Anderson cross from the right.

There was more urgency from both sides as they sought a winning margin and Falkirk went 2-1 ahead in 55 minutes.

Hippolyte sent over a cross which eluded keeper Robinson, clearly distracted by the presence of the lurking Lee Miller, and the ball ended up in the back of the net.

The lead lasted only four minutes, until Derek Lyle converted Brownlie’s right wing cross to level the scores again.

It was a much better game in the second half, and as the tackles grew in ferocity, Brownlie became the first booking when he barged John Baird off the ball.

A double substitution by manager Houston tried to change the attacking options and Falkirk started to peg Queens back.

The game entered a crucial phase with just over 15 minutes to play and Queens were far from out of things, despite their lack of possession. Dobbie almost snatched a goal after Hippolyte’s intended clearance spun backwards and gave him a sight of goal.

Higgins was booked for going down in the box after a Tom Taiwo challenge, and he was quickly followed by Dobbie for a late tackle. It was nervy stuff, but credit to both sides for going for a winner.

Keeper Robinson was testing referee Walsh’s patience with his delaying of goal kicks, as a draw looked a likely outcome.

In the last minute of normal time Scott Shepherd was played through but keeper Robinson beat him to the ball. It was a frustrating end to the game for Falkirk fans, especially after the defeats for Morton and Raith were announced.

In truth, they didn’t deserve to win and for the second week in succession, they failed to convince that they had the desire, hunger or ambition to match last season’s achievements.