Falkirk 0 Morton 3 : Gap shrinks at the bottom

Paul Hartley's wait for a win continues after a second consecutive 3-0 thumping.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 25th November 2017, 4:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 4:02 am
Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.
Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.

Gary Harkins and Robert Thomson put the sorry Bairns to the sword in a defeat which moves them closer to the bottom of the SPFL Championship.

Brechin’s draw at home to Dundee United moves them a step closer to the Bairns, while Dumbarton points gained moves them further away.

While Falkirk can’t be said to have deserved to win, the opener was handed to Morton by ref Greg Aitken in a puzzling penalty decision on nine minutes.

There were no appeals from the visityors when Bob McHugh stabbed Rossd Forbes’ cross wide at the backpost, but Aitken awarded the spot kick and booked Aaron Muirhead for an apparent tug on Robert Thomson’s jersey.

His namesake Roibbie in the Falkirk goal made the save from the spot to deny Harkins, but the veteran midfielder tucked in the rebound.

Falkirk and their ailing confidence didn’t recover from the blow.

They had started reasonably well – considerably better than a week past at Tannadice – and only Nathan Austin knows how he spurned a great header opportunity in the sixth minute after Louis Longridge’s terrific cross.

Minutes later, a goal down, the Bairns were fortunate not to be further in arrears with last week’s hero between the sticks denying the goalscorer again. Morton were swarming around the Bairns goal and thgey struggled to clkear, and they did likewise at the other end swarming around the Bairns’ attacks and squeezing them out.

James Craigen did very well to negotriate a spac e and maintain control in the packed area when he tripped up and stiull managed to tuck a shot inches wide of Gaston’s post. The midfielder was the most progressive of Falkirk’s support for attackers Longridge and Austin, but couldn’t make any inroads for the home side who went into ther break further behind when Thomson powered a header in t6hree moinuites from the break.

It was sorry viewing for the home support and Paul Hartley rang the half-time changes, bringing Alex Harris and Lee Miller on for young Cieran Dunne who was quiet and the ineffective Myles Hippolyte.

Thre changes failed to pay off though Miller forced Gaston into two great stops in a matter of minutes, seeing strikes kick out and beaten away by the Greenock number one.

Morton extended their lead to three on the hour when Harkins was allowed easy passage up front anfd carrfied the ball forwartd unchallenged. He threaded a lovely pass into the path of Thopmson who tucked it away infront of the visitors’ support.

Like Falkirk, Morton have failed to hit the heights of last season this term, but they didn’t have to be firing on all cylinders to see this sorry Falkirk side off.

The departures of the hopme fans began in the wake of the third and continued steadily ntowards the 90 minutes, the latter parts of which were played out in front of wide sections of navy blue seats and with Brechin narrowing the gap, even slightly, the reality of a relegation scrap is now sharply in focus for Falkirk.