Falkirk 1-2 Edinburgh: Bairns fail to all but seal second spot after insipid second-half showing

Falkirk’s indifferent run of form continued on Tuesday night as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat to Edinburgh at home in a fixture that could have all but sealed second spot in League 1 had they taken all three points.
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Despite a late leveller from Rangers loanee Kai Kennedy five minutes from time after Danny Handling put the visitors ahead midway into the second half, the depleted Citizens, who themselves have been a poor run, managed to snatch victory in injury-time on the breakaway through an Innes Murray header.

The first half showing from the Bairns was like many this campaign, with the home side on top but unable to find an opening goal.

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Ryan Williamson returned to the starting eleven at right-back and looked sharp in the opening period, creating the first real chance of the match on ten minutes.

Danny Handling pokes home at the back post to put Edinburgh into the lead (Pics by Michael Gillen)Danny Handling pokes home at the back post to put Edinburgh into the lead (Pics by Michael Gillen)
Danny Handling pokes home at the back post to put Edinburgh into the lead (Pics by Michael Gillen)

His sweeping low ball was met by Rumarn Burrell in the box, but the striker could only direct the ball just by the far post.

The next to have an effort at goal for the Bairns was Craig McGuffie from range fifteen minutes later as John McGlynn's side struggled to create clear-cut chances.

On the half hour mark, they finally cut open the away defence with a neat move ending off in McGuffie firing over from an Aidan Nesbitt lay-off.

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Moments later, Nesbitt then missed a glorious chance himself in the box when a loose ball bounced down to him in the box, but didn’t quite have his feet sorted out.

Handling celebrates with his teammates after scoring with his first touch off the benchHandling celebrates with his teammates after scoring with his first touch off the bench
Handling celebrates with his teammates after scoring with his first touch off the bench

Burrell also forced former Falkirk stopper Robbie Mutch into a decent stop down low before the break but an opener couldn’t be found.

In the second half, the Bairns came out looking lethargic and unfocused with stray passes allowing Edinburgh breakaway opportunities.

John Robertson had the Citizens first real chance of the match on the hour mark when he was played in out wide but he shot well past the post.

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And on 71 minutes, his replacement Handling opened the scoring for Edinburgh with his first touch of the ball.

Kai Kennedy levelled the scoring for Falkirk with a well-taken strike with five minutes to goKai Kennedy levelled the scoring for Falkirk with a well-taken strike with five minutes to go
Kai Kennedy levelled the scoring for Falkirk with a well-taken strike with five minutes to go

The ex-Hibs midfielder was in the right place at the right time to slot home from close range after Brian Kinnear made a decent stop.

It looked like it wasn’t going to be Falkirk’s day until Kennedy looked to have saved a point with five minutes to go, with a stunning effort into the top corner levelling the match.

A point would have been a decent result for the Bairns considering how poorly they had played, but they threw away any chance of a draw in the final seconds.

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Murray headed home from close range after the visitors broke up the pitch in the third minute of injury-time to boost the capital club’s own play-off hopes.

Innes Murray gets the better off Leon McCann to head home Edinburgh's winnerInnes Murray gets the better off Leon McCann to head home Edinburgh's winner
Innes Murray gets the better off Leon McCann to head home Edinburgh's winner

Teams

Falkirk: Kinnear, Williamson, McKay, Donaldson, McCann, Henderson, McGinn, Nesbitt, McGuffie, Kennedy, Burrell.

Subs: Morrison, Rowe, Morrison, Allan, Yeats, Wright, Oliver, Lawal, Kucheriavyi.

Edinburgh: Mutch, MacDonald, Hamilton, Mercer, Shanley, See, Robertson, Jacobs, Warnock, Stirling, Craigen.

Subs: Bain, Devine, Handling, MacNamara, Murray, Anukam, Crane.

Referee: Alan Newlands.

Attendance: 3,825.