Falkirk 3 Peterhead 0 - The Monday Verdict: Bairns in the the pink with Blue Toon off colour

Sports Editor David Oliver looks back on Saturday when Lee Miller and Declan mcManus lit up Falkirk FC’s annual Ladies Day against Peterhead

Monday, 9th March 2020, 4:28 pm
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 5:44 pm
Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.

They probably couldn’t have scripted Saturday any better. Infact maybe they did.

The writing was on the wall early for a poor Peterhead side, and despite the Blue Toon’s change strips, it was the Bairns who were in the pink.

The rest is still unwritten for Falkirk, but they made an excellent start to the final chapter in their League One season and it could yet have a happy ending, especially if there are more afternoons like this of the eight games remaining.

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Picture: Michael Gillen.

But if they had scripted a return to the starting line-up for housewives’ favourite Lee Miller on Ladies’ Day – why wasn’t that on the ticket? Planned or not it was a happy coincidence for Falkirk and their boosted hospitality numbers as Miller stroked in the opener on the eighth minute with all the experience of a veteran striker.

Miller and Aidan Connolly fed off one another and showed a real understanding in their link-up and the boss also picked and placed strike partner Declan McManus. Not that he needed it. McManus’ own talents helped him to goal numbers 23 and 24 for the season – and his second was worth writing home about.

A spectacular side-foot set-piece flew in off Greg Fleming’s post from at least 30 yards – hard to tell from the angle of the press box but all the more impressive in the FalkirkTV highlights and a lower and closer camera persepctive. Words barely do it justice, and Fleming was left speechless after being well and truly caught out by the on-loan Ross County man.

But if Falkirk were planning on easing their way into the final quarter of the season after a tough week including a defeat at Clyde and hard-fought point at Raith Rovers, then they couldn’t have picked it any better with sucha poor Peterhead side opposing them.

Picture: Michael Gillen.

Robbie Mutch really had one save to make, low to deny ex-Stenhousemuir man Alan Cook in the second half, and Jim McInally’s side were fortunate it was only three goals they conceded to a tweaked Falkirk formation similar, but more adventurous to the one named to face Raith.

In a 4-1-3-2 set-up both full-backs got forward at will and Paul Dixon was afforded time to get two shots off in either half, the first stung the palms of Fleming, the second brushed his fingertips as the goalkeeper made a crucial intervention to steer the 30-yard drive onto the crossbar.

McManus struck the post before his early withdrawl denied him a hat-trick and another signed matchball.

Keeping him fresh for the run-in, or saving cash on the cost of footballs of which McManus is building quite the collection. He added one from Peterhead earlier this year and he’ll hit his quarter century soon enough. His goals have been vital throughout the campaign and staying on script until May 2, can ensure it’s a happy ending bringing the curtain down on Falkirk’s League One journey.

Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.
Picture: Michael Gillen.
07-03-2020. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk FC v Peterhead FC. Matchday 28. SPFL Ladbrokes League One. Referee Craig Napier.
Lee Miller opened the scoring. Picture: MIchael Gillen.