Hibs 0 Falkirk 1 : Loy flick gives Bairns points

23-08-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. EDINBURGH. Easter Road. Hibernian F.C. V Falkirk F.C. Hibs v Falkirk.
23-08-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. EDINBURGH. Easter Road. Hibernian F.C. V Falkirk F.C. Hibs v Falkirk.

Rory Loy’s 15th minute flick gave Falkirk their first league victory of the season at Easter Road.

The Bairns survived almost relentless pressure in the first half, yet held out well - but not without a little luck.

By the end they thoroughly deserved their three points after a comfortable second half where they proved they have the credentials to be mixing it at the top end of the SPFL Championship.

Hibs’ finishing was particularly poor in front of goal, though Farid El Alagui did hit the crossbar for the home side.

It was a bright start for thr Bairns and they strode forward early on and took the lead on the quarter hour mark when Craig Sibbald’s corner fell at the feet of Conor McGrandles. With composure two yards out, he took a touch and rolled the ball sideways to Rory Loy. Back to goal he flicked the ball over the line to give the visitors the lead.

That though would be Falkirk’s lot for the next half-hour as the home side pressed relentlessly and attacked the Falkirk defence, particularly Alan Maybury at right-back.

The tide only turned when Craig Sibbald - in the starting line-up at the expense of Alex Cooper, switched to the right-flank.

Before then Callum Booth had rampaged down that side and his crosses to El Alagui and Heffernan seemed to catch the front-pair off guar when they arrived. Matthew Kennedy on Hibs right had the same reaction when the ball followed through to him.

Liam Dick made a good blocking stop to halt an Alex Harris shot after a Booth cut-back and goalkeeper MacDonald stopped Heffernan clean through though the shot was called offside anyway.

Farid el Alagui shoul;d really have opened the scoring when Will Vaulks was sucked out to the right and left the prolific Bairns marksmen alone inside. Hibs fans thought they had equalised when the net rippled, but El Alagui had only hit the side netting.

He went closer, without scoring just before the break, and hit the crossbar with a header at a corner that had been won by a ferocious 30-yard drive from Scott Allan which MacDonald pushed out.

But the Bairns hung on to the lead for the interval, and should have added to it on the stroke of half-time when a Loy shot was beaten out by Mark Oxley and Blair alston was in the right place at the right time but couldn’t apply the right finish and blasted over.

Loy went close after the break too sliding a shot just by the post after a neat exchange of passess between himself and Sibbald and Hibs looked lost of ideas, playing the ball across their backline and back to the goalkeeper to frustrate their own fans, with Falkirk hassling and chasing them down.

They had little mreason to lighten up as Falkirk had the better on the second half, stroking the ball around for fun.

Jamie MacDonald had little to do other than slap an El Alagui lob away. Will Vaulks and the incredible David McCracken ikn front of him blocked practically everything going.

He came to the rescue though with three minutes left. El Alagui charged through and a combination of the goalkeeper and Vaulks blocked his shot and as the Morroccan saught the loose ball, the ex-Hearts man gathered and killed off Hibs chances.

Rory Boulding made his Bairns debut as Peter Houston wound the clock down to his first league victory, replacing his namesake goalscorer, Loy.

And a late scare saw Jason Cummings blast over the bar before the full-time whistle went to a cacophony of boos from the home support and a colourful chant from the visitors.