Hamilton win top of table clash at Falkirk

Phil Roberts scored a hat-trick on his last league outing for Falkirk
Phil Roberts scored a hat-trick on his last league outing for Falkirk

Falkirk lost out in the top of the Championship clash with Hamilton.

Despite taking the lead through Jay Fulton in the second-half, an equaliser from Mickael AntoineCurier and a sublime winner from Ali Crawford ended the Bairns’ unbeaten start to the season and extended Accies league run.

After a frantic, impassioned, end-to-end derby match on Tuesday night, the Falkirk Stadium experienced a much more measured affair for the top of the table match.

Chances were at a premium for Falkirk, and much like Tuesday, it was the visitors who could have been ahead at the interval.

Phil Roberts struggled to get beyond the Accies defence and at the other end Mickael-Antoine Curier found plenty of room on an Accies 8th minute counter attack. However the new signing scooped a return ball for Darian MacKinnon far too high and out of the penalty area.

The best chance Bairns had came from a Kingsley free-kick on 13 minutes. Another set-piece from Jay Fulton had been headed out by Ziggy Gordon straight to the feet of Craig Sibbald. After one touch to steady himself he was fouled by Grant Gillespie and Kingsley took the kick 20-yards out that curled narrowly wide with Hamilton goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert rooted to the spot.

Rory Loy took two shots at goal, one after being clipped by Canning and swinging his foot at the ball from 25 yards with the ball looping over the bar. He went closer on the 40th minute when a fine run by Sibbald drew four defenders to him and he laid off for Loy and the deflected shot had to be tipped over by Cuthbert.

James Keating had a good chance for Hamilton but his shot from the edge of the box was knocked wide by Vaulks and MacKinnon really should have given his side the lead but blasted wide from eight yards on the stroke of halftime.

The action had shifted to Michael McGovern’s south end of the stadium the closer time got to half-time and in a flashpoint Stephen Kingsley was angry at a challenge with MacKinnon in the corner that earned the Accies man a yellow card, and in the aftermath a coming together of Curier and Durojaiye saw the visiting striker cautioned by Bobby Madden.

The ref infuriated the Bairns after the break when Jay Fulton tangled with Ziggy Gordon, but held off the Hamilton challenge enough to release Phil Roberts... only for Madden to call play back, half the striker’s clear 30-yard run to goal and award the Bairns a free-kick.

However another free-kick award moments later was more welcome as from 30 yards, Jay Fulton swept the ball into the net with many - including Kevin Cuthbert - expecting a cross.

Hamilton pressed again and an overhead kick then a low strike from Keatings were both held by McGovern.

But despite him being the Accies’ most potent threat at goal, the ex-Celtic player was replaced by Andrew Ryan, Hamilton levelled.

Mickael Antoine-Curier beat Kieran Duffie in a race for the ball and stuck the ball beyond McGovern.

At the other end Conor McGrandles skipped into the box but his square pass was miscued by Sibbald and though he recovered, his shot was blocked by Canning with Phil Roberts screaming for a pass.

It would get worse for the Bairns as Hamilton proceeded up the park and Ali Crawford curled in a sublime strike that gave Michael McGovern no chance of reaching in the top corner.

Falkirk pitched in Rakish Bingham for Sibbald, and the substitute should have released Roberts for the equaliser. A boot clear wasn’t dealt with by Canning and Roberts nipped around him to home in on goal. Cuthbert’s outstretched arm kept the Accies ahead and a role reversal saw Roberts lay on Bingham late on but the loanee’s stab at goal failed to find the net and Hamilton saw out the game to remain unbeaten.