Falkirk 1 Morton 1: Miller saves a point

Two goals in the final seven minutes couldn't split the sides in a tight Championship match at Westfield.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 5th November 2016, 4:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:52 pm
Craig Sibbald was in the thick of the midfield action. Pic by Michael Gillen.
Craig Sibbald was in the thick of the midfield action. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Lee Miller was Falkirk's late goal hero when he bundled in the late, late leveller to cancel out Lee Kilday's goal minutes earlier.

This November 5 afternoon was less fireworks, more frustration, particularly for Falkirk who dominated the game without showing any scoring touch, and that wasn't helped by Morton goalkeeper Derek Gaston's inspired form.

They salvaged a point, but for all their possession, the Bairns should have had much more.

It was a first half that Falkirk dominated, as they would the whole game, but still the Ton could have snatched something.

Much of the Bairns build-up was positive and drew applause, particularly when Myles Hippolyte, and to a lesser extent Craig Sibbald, was involved, but the Bairns couldn't find the net.

They had to be on their guard too as blocks from Luca Gasparotto, and David McCracken on shots from Gary Oliver, proved vital.

As did a hacked clearance off the line by Luke Leahy just after the half-hour mark when Ross Forbes free-kick floated over Danny Rogers and Thomas O'Ware nodded at the open goal.

Moments earlier the Bairns should have been ahead when a fortuitous break of the ball off ref Greg Aitken fell for Hippolyte in a tight spot on the edge of the box. He swivelled and laid off to John Baird who was also unable to create any room and spun his way into the box to feed Tom Taiwo but the pass was just too far ahead of the midfield man, deployed on the right of Falkirk's four in the middle.

It was a sign of the Bairns' poise on the ball, and yet also indicative of the lack of clinical finish at the end of these moves. It was also an indicator of the threat that Morton could, for all the Bairns possession, still take something from the game.

Five minutes before half-time Leahy was caught otu by a cross-field pass to Forbes and had to foul the 'Ton man just before he entered the box, though had Myles Hippolyte alongside. Leahy was booked, Forbes took the kick himself, low and curled around the Bairns defensive wall and inches wide of the post.

That end of the field saw action immediately after the restart too as Leahy struck the outside of the post within seconds of the interval's end.

The Bairns build-up continued to look neat, but perhaps too intricate with a one-two of back-heels and flicks between the front pair Lee Miller and John Baird cut out by Gavin Gunning.

The pressure was maintained though and a Taiwo corner was headed at goal by Luca Gasparotto and blocked by Andy Murdoch on the front post just before the hour mark.

Jim Duffy pitched in Lee Kilday and Aidan Nesbitt for Kudus Oyenuga and Murdoch but still the majority of play took place in Falkirk's attacking third.

Taiwo thumped a header well off target but Craig Sibbald, beside him, could have deflected it in unbeknownst to him, but such was Falkirk's luck on the day, it deflected out.

The Bairns onslaught continued and from the early intricate build-up and fancy footwork it became more desperate and direct. So too did Morton's defending and the Bairns dominance made it all the more frustrating that the breakthrough still wouldn't come and a draw looked inevitable.

Mark Kerr thumped a long dipping drive just over the bar from 25 yards and Peter Houston made his first change with just over ten minutes remaining, James Craigen for Tom Taiwo. It was met with audible booing from sections of the home support and shortly afterwards Baird made way for late goal specialist Bob McHugh.

The late goal came but not where Houston intended. A thumped free-kick from Forbes was clipped in by sub Kilday with six minutes to deliver the Bairns a late sickener for the second week in succession. However this time they bounced back.

The Bairns threw more forward, but Gaston was inspired and maintained his clean sheet until the 93rd minute when Miller finally beat him from Hippolyte's cross.

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