St Mirren 1 Falkirk 2: Baird at the double

John Baird scored both for Falkirk. Pic by Michael Gillen.
John Baird scored both for Falkirk. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Falkirk lifted the gloom with a welcome win over St Mirren – only their second victory since seeing off the Buddies at Falkirk Stadium almost two months ago.

John Baird hit a brace at a ground where he has enjoyed scoring against his former club, though ex-Bairn Rory Loy gave the home side a glimmer of hope with a late repsonse for Saints but not enough to deny Falkirk a welcome win.

Myles Hippolyte's throw attracted St Mirren's anger. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Myles Hippolyte's throw attracted St Mirren's anger. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Pressure has been mounting on the Bairns especially following the meek 2-0 dismissal by Morton in last week’s Scottish Cup tie. But this was much improved.

From the off Falkirk were organised and fired up and really, by half-time, should have been more than a single goal up.

Peter Houston benched Barcelona target Tony Gallacher, and while there may not have been any noticable Spanish presence in the stands, there was a Sunderland representative in boss Davie Moyes taking in the game.

Saints were fielding several new signings including ex-Bairn Rory Loy and goalkeeper Billy O’Brien and the eccentric keeper spilled several attempts in the first half and even presented Myles Hippolyte with a 30-yard open goal which the winger sent just over.

John baird scored his fifth and sixth league goals of the season.

John baird scored his fifth and sixth league goals of the season.

The Buddies keeper was picking the ball out of the net after 12 minutes from John Baird’s goal having spilled the striker’s effort close in just one minute earlier.

The home suppoort raged about the opener, complaints echoed by Saints’ management and players. Myles Hippolyte took a throw several yards from where the ball left play and from his restart John Baird scampered forward and sent the visitors in front.

It was the difference at the interval though Sibbald had two chances to extend the lead, plus Hippolyte’s long range curler which flew just over after O’Brien had left his area, missed the ball and slipped.

Sibbald smacked the bar with a strike from 25yards and also saw the Saints’ stopper save after bringing a Lee Miller cross out of the air with great technique.

Danny Rogers was also called upon at the other end to deny the lively Cammy Smith close in with a great two-handed save.

Falkirk could have been well ahead at the break, but Saints had threatened too, but a second from John Baird eased the nerves.

Lee Miller clipped a cross to his strike-partner and Baird rammed a volley beyond O’Brien with the Saints defence ball-watching aftetr some good work from Fraesr Aird.

That should have been that buit ex-Bairn Rory Loy made it a nervous ending for the 428 visiting supporters as he twisted and turned ointo the bpox with 14 minutes to go and shot in a consolation off the post.

It’s a big three points for Falkirk who were holding on at the end, but the win will lift spirits – though could have a severe impact on the Saints’ survival hopes, no matter how improved they were.