Falkirk 3 Raith Rovers 1: Bairns move up to third

Falkirk celebrate Craig Sibbald's opening goal. Picture: Lisa McPhillips
Falkirk celebrate Craig Sibbald's opening goal. Picture: Lisa McPhillips

Falkirk moved up to third place in the Championship table thanks to a convincing win against Raith Rovers at Westfield this afternoon.

Goals from Craig Sibbald, Conor McGrandles and Stephen Kinglsey were enough for the Bairns to leapfrog their opponents in the league table and restore fans’ belief that Gary Holt’s side can mount a title challenge this season.

The opening goal came for the home side after just three minutes. Stephen Kingsley did well to find space by cutting inside Raith’s Jason Thomson wide on the left, and his inviting cross was easily nodded home by Craig Sibbald from five yards out.

Rory Loy went close to making it 2-0 shortly after, but Rovers keeper Laidlaw did just enough to force the ball out for a corner, from which Duffie headed over.

Falkirk were working harder than their opponents and producing some lovely passing football that forced Rovers to sit deep. Their persistence paid off after 25 minutes when a cute back heel from Craig Sibbald sent Kingsley running down the wing. His deflected pass found Conor McGrandles, who showed great composure to finish with a low shot despite the close attentions of the Fifers’ defence.

Despite finding themselves 2-0 down, the away side were not out of it at this point and they should have pulled a goal back on the half hour mark but somehow couldn’t score from a messy goalmouth scramble when Falkirk repeatedly failed to clear their lines.

Grant Murray’s side started the second half brightly but Falkirk gave themselves breathing space when Stephen Kingsley scored the Bairns third after 50 minutes. Raith keeper Laidlaw appeared to make a hash of claiming a corner, and the full-back was on hand to prod the ball home, with ref Alan Muir waving away Raith’s claims that their keeper had been fouled.

The Fifers pulled a goal back through sub Greig Spence with 15 minutes left, but it was a case of too little, too late.

Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, McCracken, Vaulks (Flynn 70), Kingsley, J. Fulton (Durojaiye 80), Millar, McGrandles, Sibbald, Roberts (Bingham 68), Loy.

Raith Rovers: Laidlaw, Thomson, Booth, Hill, Cardle (Vaughan 70), Moon, Elliot, Anderson, Callachan, Smith (Spence 60), Ellis.

Referee: Alan Muir

Attendance: 2934