Falkirk 3 QOS 2 : A win, at last!

The Bairns were all smiles in the first half. Picture by Michael Gillen.

After ten attempts, Paul Hartley has finally registered a victory as manager of Falkirk.

And what’s more Falkirk scored three goals in achieving it.

Peter Grant scofed the Bairns first goal for 56 days. Picture by Michael Gillen

Victory came at a cost as Myles Hippolyte was strecthered off, but the huge roar that greeted the first home win of the league campaign was testament to an excellent first half where the forward was a key in the Bairns attack.

Hippolyte had notched the second for the Bairns and kick-started a frantic scoring spree at the end of the first half.

A goal throughout the opening period was coming for the Bairns who approached the game with all the right attitude.

Queens tried to disrupt the Bairns by swapping ends at the start but all that happened was Hartley’s side slammed in three in front of the south stand.

Myles Hippolyte turned in number two before going off injured. Picture by Michael Gillen

The first came from Peter Grant, on the half-volley, slamming in a Craig Sibbald corner.

It was just reward for extended pressure by the Bairns, in Paul Hartley’s favoured formation, which included Lewis Kidd in midfield and Paul Watson as one of the three centre backs.

Reghan Tumilty, on the right flank almost got in for another, nutmegging Sean Mercer before being unceremoniously denied in the box by Jason Kerr.

And in another fright for the Doonhamers, Mercer scooped a Hippolyte cut-back off his own post as the Bairns pressed.

Louis Longridge scored his first goal for the club. Picture by Michael Gillen.

But Grant’s strike separated the sides until the 40th minute when Hippolyte turned in a Jordan McGhee pass that Sibbald had knocked down.

The forward released all his pent up frustrations in his celebrations after almost three months without a goal.

And relentless Falkirk added another seconds later with Louis Longridge curling past Alan Martin from outside the box for his first Bairns goal.

Falkirk had not scored more than two in a league game since March but after a real lack of goals, particularly at the Falkirk Stadium, the first half was a welcome relief for all inside Westfield.

Even the needless concession of a free-kick, and goal to Stephen Dobbie (who else), on the stroke of half-time couldn’t lower the mood, but Hippolyte’s injury after the interval did.

The forward was stretchered off and replaced by Alex Harris who put in a good shift in the second period, and should have scored late on but blasted Longridge’s cut-back over.

There are signs the Bairns’ game management is returning to acceptable levels and they saw out the match, just as they’d done against Livingston and Dumbarton, but Queens rarely showed similar levels of pressure.

Robbie Mutch had to block a powerful Dobbie drive but was otherwise untroubled.

A late header from Jason Kerr made it an uncomfortable ending for the Bairns as they moved 11 points off Brechin at the bottom of the SPFL Championship.

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