Falkirk 3 Brechin 0: Bairns in the pink as Brechin see red

Falkirk recorded their most comfortable victory of the season with a 3-0 win over nine-man Brechin City at the Falkirk Stadium.

Saturday, 31st March 2018, 7:07 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st March 2018, 7:13 pm
Falkirk fans had plenty to celebrate. Picture: FH archive
Falkirk fans had plenty to celebrate. Picture: FH archive

Brechin, who came into the match already relegated, have four points and were two goals and two men behind at half time.

The Bairns created several early chances against their beleaguered opposition. Andrew Nelson had the first opportunity inside a minute when his volley was saved by Graeme Smith in the Brechin nets.

Nelson had another chance on eight minutes, this time the Sunderland loanee was taken out by Smith having gone round him. The Brechin goalkeeper got away with just a booking.

Paul Hartley saw a great win for his side. Picture - archive

Falkirk took a deserved lead on 17 minutes when Aaron Muirhead rounded the helpless Smith to tap in after lapse Brechin defending.

Alex Jakubiak and Louis Longridge were both extremely lively in the first half, and the former nearly doubled Falkirk’s lead moments later, but was denied at close range by Smith.

The lead was doubled, though, after the two linked up to provide Craig Sibbald with the easiest goal he will score this season.

Paul Hartley saw a great win for his side. Picture - archive

Longridge drilled the ball into Jakubiak’s feet, the on-loan Watford man played a delightful flick back before Longridge found Sibbald who had the simplest of two-yard finishes for 2-0.

The chances kept on coming for the Bairns. Lewis Kidd was the next to go close when his chipped effort was cleared off the line on the half hour mark.

Andrew Nelson thought he had added his name to the first half score sheet on 39 minutes, but his headed effort from close-range was ruled out by the linesman’s flag.

Shortly after, three minutes of Brechin City madness ensued.

Alex Jakubiak was the victim of a late lunge from Sean Crighton on 40 minutes, with the centre-back shown a straight red card.

Not long after he had picked himself up, Jakubiak was sent tumbling again. This time Brechin captain Paul McLean was the aggressor with a cynical trip on halfway and he too was sent off.

The most comfortable, albeit slightly frustrating, second half of the season awaited for the Bairns as they set about adding a third.

Brechin played with all nine men behind the ball and were extremely well disciplined but could only keep their hosts out until the hour mark. A scramble in the box ended with Andrew Nelson hammering in from close range for 3-0.

The last half an hour was a training exercise for Paul Hartley, who made a triple substitution as soon as the third goal went in.

Alex Harris, one of those three changes, had the best chance to add a fourth minutes from the end. He linked up well with Craig Sibbald but toe poked his effort over the crossbar.

Despite completely dominating possession, Falkirk struggled to create too many clear-cut chances second half with the match ending 3-0.

Hartley’s side are now just nine points behind fourth placed Dunfermline with two games in hand on a Pars side who are next week’s visitors to the Falkirk Stadium.