Benchman: Living de Vita Loco

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Why were journalists researching the naval fleets of various countries while Falkirk were hosting Dumbarton? That, and other matters, are addressed by The Benchman this week.

THE RACE TO THE TOP: The battle at the top increases, and now Montrose are right back in it. It is essential to keep picking up points and many Bairns fans would settle for a run of 1-0 wins if it meant three points every time. Even draws might not be good enough, and we are now entering the crunch phase of the season. Injuries, suspensions and possible fixture backlogs could all become factors and full-time Falkirk should be well placed for the challenge.

GAME OF TWO HALFS: The opening 45 minutes were hard to watch, and the morgue-like atmosphere didn’t help. Some die-hards must have been contemplating a trip to the warmth of the pub, while optimistic others felt that things would improve. And they did. The superior fitness told in the end and Jim Duffy’s side were struggling in the final quarter. It was not a game that will live long in the memory and the three points were essential.

DIVE, DIVE, DIVE: During that boring first half, some learned gentlemen in the press box were debating the relative size of the battle fleets of developed countries. Why? Dumbarton were struggling to field a full squad and had listed only three subs. How many of the navies in the world had only three subs? Extensive research revealed that Spain, South Africa and Poland had three subs as well. If the second half hadn’t improved, the next challenge was to see how many of the players shared surnames with film stars. We had started with Neil, Hutton, Tierney and Crawford in the Sons team, when the football improved.

I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE-UP-NOT: Unlike Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, Gregor Buchanan was NOT ready for a close-up. He must have dreaded scoring his first goal for the club after sustaining two head knocks which resulted in both nostrils being plugged to stem the flow of blood. Not a pretty sight and the big guy looked like a humanised version of a hairy mammoth. Our ever-vigilant snapper might have been tempted to capture a close-up, but such a career-threatening move was wisely avoided.

LIVING DE VITA LOCO: Rafa De Vita realised the potential of his new club in a very frank and open post-match interview. His earlier friendship with Lee Miller was obviously a factor- and he had already realised that his new boss had managerial potential when both were undertaking their rehab programme after knee injuries at Livingston. He saw the move to Falkirk as a huge opportunity and by no means a step backwards in career terms.

ONLY HUMAN: The recent showing of the film about Mental Health which preceded the FA Cup ties last weekend illustrated the point that football players have the same issues as the rest of us.

ANSWERS: Last week we featured a scene from the old Stirling Albion ground at Annfield.