Falkirk 0 East Fife 0: Tough at the top

David McMillan. Picture: Michael Gillen.
David McMillan. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Louis Longridge hit the post as Falkirk and East Fife lost ground on Raith Rovers at the top of the Ladbrokes League One.

It was a tight meeting of the league's second and third placed sides, and watched by prospective Falkirk bidder Mark Campbell.

Cammy Bell kept Falkirk in it, and was tested as early as the fifth minute. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Cammy Bell kept Falkirk in it, and was tested as early as the fifth minute. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Falkirk went close but had Cammy Bell to thank for keeping another clean sheet.

The level first half saw chances for both sides and a mutual frustration shown to referee David Dickinson.

Falkirk have seen their fair share of howitzers already this season and Westfield almost witnessed another... but against the Bairns.

After Michael Doyle and Morgaro Gomis scored screamers, it was almost Scott Agnew adding his name to the list with a 30-yard drive that cammy Bell pushed over after five minutes.

Mark Campbell watched the game - but not from the directors' box. Picture: Michael Gillen

Mark Campbell watched the game - but not from the directors' box. Picture: Michael Gillen

STORY OF THE MATCH: Falkirk 0 East Fife 0 - as it happened
Ten minutes later and a lot closer in Falkirk went even closer to breaking the deadlock with a Louis Longridge strike on the angle that smacked the top of Jordan Hart's near post.

The Bairns then took control of the game and went closer through Gregor Buchanan, but the captain's header and search for that elusive first goal in navy blue, was in vain as Mark Durnan, his defensive partner blocked the effort a yard from goal. The captain even tried his own long-ranger but sent it into the away stand.

David McMillan also saw a strike from an acute angle take a deflection and spin along the goal-line and clear but the Bairns were almost picked off when Anton Dowds went clear, beating the offside trap, but he couldn't find a way past Bell.

Ref Dicinson came under fire from the visitors for allowing play to continue with Scott Davidson and Ross Dunlop down with head knocks, while the Bairns were angry at some of the treatment meted out, and a booking for Longridge for an off-the-ball collision.

Louis Longridge hit the post in the first half. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Louis Longridge hit the post in the first half. Picture: Michael Gillen.

It had a been a level first half and the second was just as close with Falkirk pressing and leaving spaces at the back for Eats Fife to exploit.

That they didn't was thanks to Cammy Bell denying a Ross Davidson drive and some recovery tackles from Mark Durnan and Michael Doyle.

Falkirk's attacks were disjointed and Declan McManus and David McMillan were eventually traded for Conor Sammon and Denny Johnstone. But the changes did not improve the Bairns any in front of the south stand and the Falkirk Stadium saw its first 0-0 since the visit of Morton in December last year.