Falkirk narrow gap on Ross County with win at Hamilton

Darren Dods' header was enough to see Falkirk home
Darren Dods' header was enough to see Falkirk home
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Falkirk moved closer to league leaders Ross County after mugging Hamilton to claim three points.

The Bairns had two shots on goal and scored from one of them in a bruising encounter which had Accies camped out in their defensive third for most of the game.

Afterwards Steven Pressley paid tribute to the opposition, who included ex-Bairn Mark Stewart and more than merited a share of the spoils.

But Darren Dods’ header at the end of the first half was enough to hand Falkirk their second single-goal victory at New Douglas Park this season.

Dods' goal separated the teams, but Michael McGovern had just as much impact on the scoreline with a string of game-changing saves.

His defence did him a favour in the first half, blocking shots by Simon Mensing and Jim McAlister.

McGovern was then called into action when a poor clearance by Dods presented Stewart with a chance. The striker, on loan from Bradford, was denied by a good two-handed save from the Bairns No.1.

Falkirk moved up the other end and, in their only attack of note in the first half, Tam Scobbie earned a corner which Mark Millar floated on to Dods and the captain ended his current malaise with a downward header into the net.

Accies switched back upfiled before the half-time whistle and McGovern was called upon to make another good stop, just as he would be in the second half.

A stunning save - better than his last-minute dive to stop Michael Tidser's shot at Morton last week - saw him tip an Andy Redmond free-kick round the post.

Falkirk's only foray forward fell to Farid El Alagui who fired straight at goalkeeper David Hutton.

Substitute Grant Anderson rattled the crossbar for Accies while clean through after Murray Wallace and Kieran Duffie couldn't get the ball clear and then Stephen Hendrie charged at the Bairns goal, only to be snuffed out by the in-form keeper.

He snatched another ball from the head of Simon Mensing during six minutes of injury time added by ref Steven McLean as the Bairns edged closer to Ross County who could only drew at home to Ayr United.

Elsewhere, Stenhousemuir had an excellent win on the road, 3-0 at Airdrie, with a double from Gary Smith after Sean Dickson's opener. Shire lost by the odd goal in three at home to Queen's Park, while, in the junior ranks, Dunipace went down 1-0 at home to Vale of Leven and Falkirk Juniors fell 4-2 to Kirkintilloch Roby Roy at Grangemouth Stadium.

For the more on these games, and Falkirk’s match against Dundee on Tuesday, see this week’s Falkirk Herald