Falkirk 1 QoS 1 : Bairns stay fifth

Falkirk's decent run of results continued but they'll be disappointed to only draw
Falkirk's decent run of results continued but they'll be disappointed to only draw

Falkirk were held at home to Queen of the South for the second time this season.

It was very much a case of two points dropped for Peter Houston’s side which performed well but couldn’t force the winner and an advantage in the race for the play-offs.

The Bairns should have had the lead as early as the fourth minute when an advance by Sibbald into the box had the Bairns lining up to shoot at Jim Atkinson. Eventually the ball shifted to Blair Alston who struck a decent shot from 10 yards but Ian McShane blocked and knocked the ball away for a corner.

They didn’t have to wait long though as Mark Durnan’s tug on Rory Loy earned them a penalty, despatched by the forward on 16 minutes.

Falkirk were playing some neat football, the passing around the box and some of the football was excellent but without a clincal touch. Falkirk were guilty of over-playing and seeking the perfect goal.

However their lead lasted beyond half-time though Derek Lyle hit a curling strike shortly after the break that was heading for the top corner until David McCracken headed it away.

Whenever ex-Doonhamers John Baird and Mark Kerr got close to the ball their presence was met with loud jeers from the away support, a set of fans who supported the pair just a matter of days ago, a contrast from the reception for second-half sub Mark Millar who was applauded on by Falkirk’s home fans after two spells in the navy blue.

Kerr was booked for a fairly ferocious challenge on Lewis Kidd on 51 minutes as was PeterGrant for a challenge on Derek Lyle later.

But Queens levelled matters after Lyle broke free and beat Falkirk’s offaside claims. Luke Leahy made an excellent recovery tackle by racing back to stop a one-on-one situation but the Doonhamers scored from the corner.

The initial set-piece broke to Iain Russell on the edge of the area and he smashed a volley past Jamie McDonald whose view seemed obscured. Gavin Reilly was also on the line claiming a touch.

Nevertheless it was 1-1 and Falkirk should have made it 2-1 with a hatful of chances.

Baird side-footed past then lobbed Atkinson a minute ;later but a combination of McShane and the post kept it out. He squandered a third with some excellent build-up play by curling the finishing touch wide before Falkirk had the lead handed to them on a plate.

In a goalmouth stramash after 65 minutes, Loy smashed the ball beyond Atkinson but Mark Durnan kept the ball out on the line. Crawfoird Allan gave a penalty and sentoff the defender, but though the numbers were uneven the scores stayed level as Loy clipped the bar with his spot-kick.

Peter Houston pushed Alex Cooper on for Will Vaulks in an attacking substitution and then replaced Baird with Taylor Morgan.

The Bairns pressured and Cooper came close with six minutes to go but Atkinson made a terrific one-handed stop.

But they couldn’t take advantage of the numerical advantage in a match they created plenty of chances to win.

Falkirk: MacDonald, Duffie, Leahy, McCracken, P. Grant, Kerr, Alston, Vaulks, Sibbald, Baird, Loy. Subs: Bowman, Taiwo, Smith, Dick, Maybury, Cooper, Morgan.

QOS: Atkinson, Holt, Dowie, Durnan, Higgins, Reilly, Russell, Kidd, Carmichael, McShane, Lyle. Subs: Clark, Millar, Paton, Dzierzawski, Smith, Hooper, Pickard, Smith.