Falkirk were toppled off the top of the SPFL Championship by Queen of the South.
Defeat in Dumfries, coupled with Dundee’s win over Hamilton, sees the Tayside team leap-frog the Bairns back to the top under new manager Paul Hartley.
Two goals from substitute Gavin Reilly gave the home side victory in a fairly uneventful game.
he match had been re-arranged from December, when a monsoon prompted referee Iain Brines to call the game off shortly before half an hour had been played. But it felt like Groundhog Day with a billowing wind, sheets of rain and generally horrible conditions, but Iain Brines allowed the game to make the half-way point after a very even first period.
Neither side could make the breakthrough, though of the two sides Queen’s were considerably closer.
They created more with their share of the possession and really should have had the lead but Bob McHugh side-footed a wicked Paul Burns delivery wide while front and centre of Michael McGovern’s six-yard box.
The wicked deliveries were more a feature of the Doonhamers’ play, and caused difficulties for the Bairns back-line unable to accurately judge the path of the ball in the conditions.
Falkirk were more keen to play shorter controlled passes to move up the park, and they struggled to so so to any great danger.
Phil Roberts looked to have a clear path to goal on a breakaway on 35 minutes but Mark Durnan took the booking for fouling the forward and averting a particularly dangerous move. Roberts also did well to head Kieran Duffie’s cross to Conor McGrandles and the ball was scrambled clear. Olumide Durojaiye also had a strike that flew wide after the Nigerian youth international replaced the injured Mark Millar after 15 minutes.
The rain looked to let up a little during the interval, but with the change of sides, Queens were now playing against the wind but still took advantage.
Although Rory Loy did his best to use the conditions to his advantage by hassling the Doonhamers’ backline into making mistakes, the Bairns couldnt take the lead. Loy robbed Andy Dowie in midfield and Blair Alston had a clear path to goal but pulled his shot wide of Jim Atkinson’s post.
That was as close as the Bairns would come and the introduction of Gavin Reilly swung the evenly-balanced match into the home side’s favour.
Michael McGovern foiled his namesake Paton with a superb save low down at his right-side post, but it only delayed the home side taking the lead. Reilly was given space and headed in with ten minutes to go, then added to it with a pwoerful left-foot strike to round of a lovely move from the home side.
Phil Roberts tested Atkinson late with a tame curling shot, but the home side were rarely troubled in ending Falkirk’s 11-match unbeaten run.