Bairns win shows they’re reggae for title challenge - Watch It Again, March 2014

You voted to re-watch Raith Rovers 2, Falkirk 4 from March 1, 2014 on Falkirk TV this afternoon. Here’s how we reported the big win back in the Gary Holt era.

Saturday, 4th July 2020, 4:32 pm
Updated Saturday, 4th July 2020, 5:19 pm
Millar's stunning free-kick splits the Raith wall and gives Falkirk a 4-2 lead - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy
Millar's stunning free-kick splits the Raith wall and gives Falkirk a 4-2 lead - Raith Rovers against Falkirk FC at Starks Park, Kirkcaldy

The soundtrack to a scintillating match - and an excellent and important victory for Falkirk - was quite simply, awful.

Refreshed patrons of Stark’s Park’s hospitality suites infrequently reprised two lines from Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” song - cleverly switching the word ‘rights’ to whites in tribute to the Raith Rovers shirt.

By the end of an exhausting match which ebbed and flowed in both teams’ favour, the Bairns silenced and exhausted the Wailers.

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The Bairns took the lead from a goalmouth stramash caused by Mark Beck’s header - and the big man had a role in three of the Bairns’ four goals.

And it was a fellow transfer-window signing, Joe Chalmers, who had a pivotal role in the match though not in the same sense.

Raith gave the on-loan Celtic man a torrid time at left-wing-back and after 38 uncertain minutes Gary Holt changed the system from a 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 and from then on, Falkirk were jammin’.

They were also 2-1 down. After the melee where Dougie Hill was finally credited with the own goal, Raith hit back. Michael McGovern made a stunning hitch-kick save from John Baird, then bravely saved at the forward’s feet. But he finally got his goal when Grant Anderson hit the

by-line and crossed for Baird to nod in.

The same scenario brought a corner that wasn’t properly cleared five minutes later and with Anderson off-balance, Mark Millar collided with the Raith man on his exit from the box and ref Euan Anderson gave a soft penalty. “The Raith player even admitted it should only have been a corner,” Millar added later.

Callum Booth scored from the spot but Falkirk’s response up the park should have given them one of their own but Conor McGrandles tumble was ignored by the ref.

Then Holt changed it with Chalmers replaced by Luke Leahy, and the Englishman who has never really cemented his own place or position in

the team did an excellent job on the left side.

After the break the Bairns looked more solid and took early initiative when Vaulks’ long-throw was flicked-on by Beck and bundled home by the surprised David McCracken. It lifted the Bairns and from then on there was only one team capable of winning, it was just a case of if the Bairns could cut out the minor mistakes that kept them back.

One man not guilty was Conor McGrandles who barely wasted a pass.

Rovers were desperate for the points after a miserable run of form, but looked desolate after McCracken’s first goal for the club. They pushed for the advantage but Falkirk picked them off with Beck making a lumbering getaway on the counter. He held the ball up and fed it wide to the on-coming Leahy who dithered and dawdled before squaring to Millar.

It looked to have been too long, but it wasn’t and a clipped ball over the top was rifled into the top corner and reward Rory Loy for a typically tireless performance.

There was no exodus from the stands though and the Bairns had to be alert when Greig Spence and Gordon Smith were pitched in by the desperate Rovers, but they offered little and the Bairns continued to combat the hosts with a high defensive line.

With Dundee and Hamilton both leading it was nervous close to the game with a one-goal advantage but the fear was eased when Millar swept in a 20-yard free-kick that had Robinson rooted to the spot.

By that stage the Wailers in the stand had been silenced, and Falkirk had eased the tension to keep pace with the league leaders.

If ever a free-kick came with a message, it was Millar’s.

‘Don’t worry about a thing, every little thing, is going to be alright.’

And it was.