Falkirk 3-1 Alloa: As you were at the top

Mark Beck

Mark Beck

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Falkirk scored against Alloa for the first time this season, but it still wasn’t enough.

Results elsewhere meant the Bairns stayed in third and will head to Queen of the South in the SPFL play-off.

It was always a case of what if and by half-time Falkirk knew it was almost certain they’d be in the play-offs and not being automatically promoted.

At that stage Hamilton led an astonishing 5-1 at home to Morton, and Dundee were 2-0 up on Dumbarton and cruising to the league title despite their positions alternating throughout the first half.

The Bairns by contrast had led and then were pegged back by the Wasps but never moved out of third place.

There were nerves at the back, but going forward and shooting into the north end of the pitch the Bairns had a noisy backing from the south stand. And they looked accomplished doing so.

Beck went close with a header that goalkeeper Scott Bain blocked on the line, and the keeper made similar great stops to defy Craig Sibbald and Blair Alston.

But the Bairns looked dangerous at corners and it’s that route which brought the opener and the first of the seaosn against the Wasps. Millar whipped in a corner and Beck powered the ball into the net.

At that stage Dundee were being held by Dumbarton at Dens Park but by the time Alloa scored Christian Nade for Dundee and it was as you were.

The draw made no difference to Falkirk but eased pressure on the teams above, and it mae in freak circumstancees. McCord got to the by-line and cut-back through McGovern’s legs.

The Bairns back-line looked frozen. Stephen Kingsley - having his least assured afternoon of the season - stumbled over the ball and turned it toewards the empty net but was spared an own goal by Kevin Cawley’s opportunistic touch over the line.

Gary Holt made the changes to freshen the team and rest key figures as the play-off loomed, and it paid off as Rory Loy’s replacement Scott Shepherd made a real difference to the Bairns in the second half.

He hit the by-line and cut-back for Craig Sibbald to stroke the Bairns ahead and he also supplied Mark Beck with the cross to give the Bairns the third.

But the afternoon wasn’t all over as Kane Hemmings scored for Cowdenbeath which knocked Alloa into the relegation play-off spot.

But they were spared and knew little of it until after the full-time whistle when Scott Bain sprinted from the tunnel, leapt the advertising hoardings and landed on a cluster of Wasps fans after a 96th minute equaliser for Queen of the South saved the Clackmannanshire club.

Elsewhere Hamilton’s heroic effort and 10-2 victory was still not enough to overturn Dundee who hung on to a 2-1 win to send the helicopter to Dundee airport.

Falkirk will travel to Palmerston to play Queen of the south on Tuesday night.