Falkirk and Arbroath to go again after 0-0 draw

Falkirk and Arbroath will meet each other again on Tuesday, January 28 for a spot in the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after a 0-0 draw at Gayfield.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 5:49 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th January 2020, 5:54 pm
Declan McManus had a few chances to find a goal but wasn't able to break the deadlock
Declan McManus had a few chances to find a goal but wasn't able to break the deadlock

It was a game that even before kick off looked finely balanced, Arbroath are in a higher division but Falkirk are the full-time team.

That reflected in a fairly even first half which the home side just aboput shaded.

However, the Bairns were the ones with all the chances in the second half while Robbie Mutch didn't have a save to make.

The game kicked off on a mild but cold afternoon, Lee Miller and David McCracken made one change from the side that beat Peterhead 3-1 with Ian McShane coming in to the starting line up and Gary Miller dropping out of the squad. New signing Josh Todd was named on the bench.

Both sides looked right up for this cup tie with a back and forth opening 15 minutes before the first real chance of the game came to Declan McManus who headed Michael Doyle's cross wide of the near post from six yards.

Arbroath responded with a shot from Michael McKenna from 20 yards which went just over the crossbar and on to the roof of the net.

It was end to end stuff as demonstrated on 19 minutes when Conor Sammon went down inside the penalty area but referee Greig Aitken wasn't interested.

The hosts cleared it up the line to their talisman Bobby Linn who with some tricky footwork made space for a shot at the edge of the box that was deflected just wide.

Falkirk had a few more chances in the first half with Gomis twice shooting over and McManus firing an effort straight down the throat of Arbroath keeper Derek Gaston as the sides went in to half time level.

The second half got underway and Gaston was forced in to a hurried clearance under pressure from McManus which was picked out by Paul Dixon who tried to catch the former Morton goalie off his line from 30 yards but his effort was over the bar.

Neither keeper had really been tested until the 56th minute when McManus was played in by Gomis and his angled shot brought a good save out of the advancing Gaston.

Ten minutes later and McManus had another chance from a 20 yard free kick that went just wide of the near post grazing the side netting on its way.

Scott Stewart shot over for the hosts on 66 minutes before Conor Sammon's header from 15 yards brought a routine save out of Gaston.

Their was a nervy moment for the Lichties keeper on 71 minutes when a long range shot from Aidan Connolly looked to be safely held but it very nearly squirmed under him with Sammon advancing.

Falkirk were now well on top and made changes with Rafa De Vita and David McMillan coming on.

It was the latter who had the biggest chance of the game right at the death when he met a McManus cross at the near post on 89 minutes but headed the ball over from two yards when he should have done better.

Both sides now go in to the draw for the fifth round tomorrow with the replay at the Falkirk Stadium a week on Tuesday to see who it will be taking that spot.