Falkirk 1 Partick 1 : Opportunity knocked

Ex-Thistle captain Abdul Osman faced his former club again.  Picture: Michael Gillen
Ex-Thistle captain Abdul Osman faced his former club again. Picture: Michael Gillen

Falkirk passed up the opportunity to stretch away from the SPFL Championship relegation fight and were held at home by Partick Thistle.

The winner of this tie could have leap-frogged into seventh but after a game littered with mistakes, Queen of the South were the main beneficiaries from the result which leaves matters unchanged at the bottom of the league.

McDonald opened the scoring for the Jags.  Picture: Michael Gillen

McDonald opened the scoring for the Jags. Picture: Michael Gillen

It had been billed as a six-pointer for both sides, though Ray McKinnon was keen to play down the significance of this game over others remaining this season.

The Bairns were flat for the vast majority of the first half and really should have trailed by more than one at the break but went in level thanks to Ian McShane's goal two minutes before the break.

Scott McDonald, once a Falkirk signing target, knocked the Jags ahead from close range with his knee after a lacklustre start from the home side. Blair Spittal released Lewis Mansell down the right and he beat William Edjenguele for pace before crossing for the Australian ex-Celtic striker to bundle the ball in via his knee, Harry Burgoyne and the crossbar.

Thistle looked more up for it and out-fought the Bairns for most of the fiurst half and should have been further ahead through James Penrice but he blasted over after a late run into the box.

Ray McKinnon. Picture: Michael Gillen

Ray McKinnon. Picture: Michael Gillen

HOW IT HAPPENED: Falkirk v Partick Thistle Live Blog
Passes were going astray, players drifting and switching off, and Zak Rudden left ostracised chasing the Jags defence.

Zak Rudden was laid flat-out by a pwoerful Steven Saunders challenge, it's fair to assume the Partick man was out of control oin the challenge which led to several minutes of treatment for the on-loan Rangers man, and a spat on the touchline between the rival technical areas.

The shouting, from the Falkirk dug-out team continued - at the players during the interval though Falkirk should have gone in ahead with Paul Paton missing a gilt edged chance in from of goal.

The Bairns should have gone further ahead shortly after their half-time hairdryer treatment and Ian McShane thundered a strike off the post from a Petravicius lay-off.

Steven Saunders was lucky to only see yellow.  Picture: Michael Gillen

Steven Saunders was lucky to only see yellow. Picture: Michael Gillen

It was a much improved second half and the Bairns were showing more fight but the goal remained wanting.

Aaron Jarvis was introduced and went close to connecting to a Jordan McGhee cross and Ciaran McKenna spurned two half-chances from headers but the mistakes of the first half began to creep into the Bairns' play and a lack of options and for those on the ball, and slack possession, played into the visitors' hands.

In the end, a point keeps Falkirk outside of the drop zone for a further week, but the grounds for optimism seen early in the year were lacking this afternoon in a match that could have done much for the Bairns' safety ambitions.

Ian mcShane slammed in the equaliser and later went close.  Picture: Michael Gillen

Ian mcShane slammed in the equaliser and later went close. Picture: Michael Gillen

Picture: Michael Gillen

Picture: Michael Gillen