QoS 1 Falkirk 0: Bairns get no satisfaction

12-04-2015. Picture Michael Gillen.  DUMFRIES. Palmerston Park. Queen of the South v Falkirk FC. SPFL Championship. Game finished 1-0 to Queen of the South. Luke Leahy 19.

12-04-2015. Picture Michael Gillen. DUMFRIES. Palmerston Park. Queen of the South v Falkirk FC. SPFL Championship. Game finished 1-0 to Queen of the South. Luke Leahy 19.

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As Mick Jagger said “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Falkirk wanted three points, but didn’t deserve to leave Dumfries empty-handed.

They totally dominated the second half, but lacked a cutting edge. They’ll need to find one before Hampden on Saturday.

Falkirk had deserved at least a draw, but to leave with nothing was a real injustice.

It was a brave, battling performance and the final result was a real blow. Queens were delighted at the outcome and they now have three games to consolidate that play-off place.

Falkirk had the better of the opening ten minutes, and looked full of confidence. First a Duffie header was cleared off the line, and then a Baird volley from the edge of the box forced Clark into making an excellent save. The Bairns seemed to be first to every ball and they certainly had Queens pegged back in defence. Baird was only inches away from making contact with a great left wing cross from Leahy as the pressure continued and yet it was Queens who took the lead after 20 minutes with a freak goal.

Keeper Clark cleared a loose ball from outside his area and Vaulks attempted a back header to MacDonald. The ball was too short to reach the

keeper and fell invitingly for Derek Lyle who thumped the ball high into the net to give the keeper no chance. It was hard on Falkirk who had looked the better side up until then, and it was a personal injustice on the otherwise steady Vaulks.

It could have been worse a few minutes later, when Kerr was robbed of the ball just outside the box, and Reilly missed a real sitter from a matter of feet with the goal at his mercy.

Clark just beat Duffie to a right wing corner as Falkirk tried to get back into the game. The 1-0 scoreline was a bit harsh on Falkirk, but they knew that a goal was needed before too long, if they were to succeed in their mission. Vaulks connected with a Sibbald corner from the right, but his header was off target. Smith wasn’t too far away with a volley from a narrow angle after Taiwo had played him in.

Falkirk were having a good spell and Smith brought Clark to his knees to save a low shot.

Queens had plenty of pace with Reilly and Carmichael, and Falkirk needed to be careful that their quest for an equaliser didn’t leave gaps at the back which these two could exploit. Falkirk were unlucky to be behind at the break, and it was only that single unlucky goal that separated the sides.

The familiar pattern of Falkirk having the bulk of possession continued. The home side were sitting back, much to the displeasure of their fans. Paton was booked for a foul on Smith as Falkirk pressed hard for that equaliser. It was one-way traffic as the white shirts seem to get to every ball first, and the home crowd started to sense that their team was maybe running out of steam.

With 15 minutes left for play, it was still Falkirk doing all the attacking and keeping possession. Clark tipped an effort from Kevin O’Hara – on as a second half sub to make his full debut aged 16 – round the post for a corner, and the home goal was under siege. Alston forced Clark into a save with a good volley from the edge of the box as the home support grew even more anxious. Leahy was booked for what seemed a perfectly

good challenge on Reilly in an isolated Queens raid but they looked to be running on empty after their exertions against Rangers the past Thursday night.

The play was all towards the home goalmouth, but the vital breakthrough just wouldn’t come. It was hugely frustrating to see all the possession and good build-up play but not to see an end product. If the Bairns had started up, they’d likely have never stopped. It was almost enough to make a grown man cry.