Falkirk shut-out by Alloa in scoreless draw

Pic Lisa McPhillips 28/12/2013'SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - Falkirk FC v Alloa FC'Westfield Stadium, Falkirk'Falkirks Rory Loy and Alloa Graeme Holmes

Pic Lisa McPhillips 28/12/2013'SCOTTISH CHAMPIONSHIP - Falkirk FC v Alloa FC'Westfield Stadium, Falkirk'Falkirks Rory Loy and Alloa Graeme Holmes

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Falkirk were frustrated but move up to third in the Championship after another scoreless draw with the well-drilled Wasps.

The visitors defence was under siege for most of the match but held out with another inspired performance from goalkeeper Scott Bain who defied the Bairns in the previous scoreless meeting at Recreation Park.

He foiled Rory Loy, Phil Roberts and Mark Millar while efforts from David McCracken, Conor McGrandles and Craig Sibbald were agonisingly wide for the home side who leapfrog Raith Rovers into third after failing to score for the first time in six games.

Gary Holt handed Scott Shepherd his first start, swapping with Republic of Ireland youth striker Phil Roberts who was named among the substitutes.

The first half was all about Falkirk as they played out the majority in the attacking half of the field, but couldn’ find the net.

Conor McGrandles had the first opportunity but hung onto the ball too long with several chances to shoot in the eighth minute.

Alloa were intent on camping in to catch the Bairns on the break but Falkirk continued to play around them and Rory Loy had a series of chances in the first 45, cutting into thre box from either side, but denied each time. Such was the threat offered by the Bairns’ top scorer he had no less than SIX Wasps defenders around him on the by-line but his cut-back was knocked clear.

At corners the Bairns were a threat too, McGrandles and David McCracken going close to Mark Millar’s deliveries, and Will Vaulks’ header frokm another prolonged corner set-play forced Bain into a sprawling save shortly before the break.

The goalkeeper had made an improtant interception to a Millar rocket earlier in the first half, by tipping the 25 yard strike over the crossbar.

He did the same in the second half to a fierce drive from substitute Roberts but in a frustrating afternoon Falkirk kept testing the Wasps defence, which held out successfully.

Shepherd was inches from converting a low Loy cross straight after the break and later Craig Sibbald pulled the best chance of the game agonisingly wide.

Roberts did well to keep a deep Kingsley cross in play with a header back to jay Fulton but the powerful strike was blocked wide by Michael Doyle.

Another sub, Blair alston made a tame stab at goal before Roberts’ piledriver but it was not to be for the Bairns.

And though they’ll be frustrated at a second 0-0 with Paul Hartley’s side, it could have been worse as Allao twice caught the attacking Bairns on the counter attack.

Only a good block from Will Vaulks stopped Ryan McCord shooting at Michael McGovern and a woeful strike after a delightful touch from Declan McManus gave the Wasps’ striker the blushes as he slipped in the act of shooting after his takedown split the central defensive pairing of McCracken and Vaulks late on.