Monday Verdict: Falkirk step into the light

SPorts Editor David Oliver is of a bright disposition following Falkirk’s late win in Montrose.

Monday, 23rd December 2019, 1:00 pm
Falkirk goal, David McMillan 29. Picture: Michael Gillen
Falkirk goal, David McMillan 29. Picture: Michael Gillen

It was the winter solstice at the weekend and what is it they say? It’s always darkest before the dawn?

Well Falkirk have a light on the horizon after some gloomy moments as darkness fell on Links Park on Saturday.

Having conceded a two-goal lead to Montrose with less than ten minutes to go it looked ominous, but Aidan Connolly’s late goal really does bring the top of the table into full view.

Falkirk second goal, Declan McManus 9. Picture: Michael Gillen.

MATCH REPORT: Montrose 2 Falkirk 3

The season is at a halfway point and in a barmy top end of League One it is anyone’s title. Goal difference separates the top three and Falkirk, with a superior difference double that of their rivals’ best, sit a point off the three-way tie, on 31 points.

Standings would have had a less favourable complexion had Connolly not defied management tactics and drifted into the box from his set position on the 18-yard line and thumped in Declan McManus’ knock-down moments before the final whistle.

Well in touch of the title-chasing pack, and if truth be told, nowhere near matching their potential, the future should be looking bright for Falkirk.

Robbie Mutch made some vital saves. Picture: Michael Gillen.

And this was a game they would have lost points from in the not so distant past.

LEAGUE TABLE: SPFL League One

At two up they were comfortable, it should really have been more. You can copy-paste that sentence from a whole host of Falkirk herald match reports from this season.

But that familiar feeling was met with the other discomfited notion that this Falkirk team have always had a fragile side to it and capacity to collapse.

Aidan Connolly scored the winner. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Yet they are beginning to toughen up.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Matchday Blog

The going got tough as darkness fell on the north-east coast and the hosts picked up in the second half, but the Bairns had the resolve to take the points.

It is resolve such as that shown at Links Park, and for the point against Raith Rovers where most of the game was played a man down, that can lift title-winners above the also-rans.

Dropping points with passive displays on the road puts you in amongst them though and that’s why Falkirk are where they are at this halfway stage.

The side which fell to Clyde at Cumbernauld couldn’t fight back in the manner the Bairns did at Montrose and though they had Robbie Mutch to thank at times, Falkirk look brighter, more confident and able to change shape to counter threats.

IN PICTURES: Fans Gallery

When Montrose regained the momentum that had seen them drop just eight points in the last ten games, it was a relentless attack on Mutch and co.

But the goalkeeper was on top form with brave saves and the Bairns were brave too in standing up to it and bouncing back.

The dark days are not quite banished yet, but there’s beginning to be a glimmer of light at the end of the League One tunnel again.

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