Brechin 0 Falkirk 1: Jakubiak to the rescue

Ref Greg Aitken flashed his red card in the second half. Picture Michael Gillen.
Ref Greg Aitken flashed his red card in the second half. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk avoided becoming the first victims of Brechin, but and left it late to see off the ten men of the league’s bottom side.

Aaron Lynas was sent off moments after his introduction as substitute and the home side almost held out in dreadful underfoot conditions.

Rory Loy goes close. Picture Michael Gillen

Rory Loy goes close. Picture Michael Gillen

Only two and a half minutes into injury time, Alex Jakubiak drilled in from close range and at the second attempt to send the Bairns fans wild.

Craig Sibbald kept possession and Tommy Robson swung a cross in which fell kindly to the on-loan striker who struck his first shot off Gary Fusco then made no mistake with the rebound.

On a pitch as heavy as last week’s trip to Inverurie Falkirk simply toiled until the very end. The pitch was as bad but the opponents were a step above and frustrated Falkirk.

Brechin were on top for long spells of the first half with the Bairns forced to play long balls to Alex Jakubiak. Indeed, at times it was a 7-0-3 formation for the Glebe Park visitors. That said, decent chances were at a premium.

Louis Longridge and James Dale. Picture Michael Gillen.

Louis Longridge and James Dale. Picture Michael Gillen.

Jakubiak played Rory Loy in for a chance on six minutes but he struck his shot at the outstretched foot of Brechin keeper Paddy O’Neill. Jakubiak also volleyed high and wide as well as two shots blocked in a late flurry of pressure from the Bairns.

Paul Hartley cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines, but not as frustrated as Darren Dods, his oppsite number, who barraged assistant ref Kylie Cockburn with claims and complaints throughout the first half.

The game was bitty, broken up by frequent fouls and changes of possession on the heavy park.

Similar followed in the second half but the Bairns were more on the attack after the break. Brechin’s best, and only real chance was close when Dylan Mackin should have converted at close range from a brilliant cross by Euan Spark.

The rest was all the Bairns, and more so when they held the numerical advantage.

Joe McKee came on for Rory Loy in a move which pushed Craig Sibbald into the three-pronged attack. The midfielder’s first act was to fire a free-kick just wide, a set-piece awarded for a foul by James Dale on Louis Longridge. Dale was fortunate not to be shown a second yellow card for the barge after an earlier deliberate handball in the first half.

The game swung in the Bairns favour moments later though as the man sent on to replace the already cautioned Dale, now walking a tight-rope, walked himself for sliding into a 50-50 with Taiwo and catching him on the upper thigh.

Aaron Lynas protested his innocence but Greg Aitken immediately brandished a red card and the game swung into a Falkirk favour.

Taiwo was able to continue, after treatment, and showed no ill effects to chase back and halt a Mackin charge. The resultant corner was headed wide by Sean Crichton.

The Bairns poured forward but the pitch was proving troublesome and the bounce rarely fell kindly for either side and chances went a-begging.

Paul Hartley pitched Kevin O’Hara in for Paul Watson but eventually his attacking switches paid off and Jakubiak broke the deadlock at the very end.