Livingston 0 Falkirk 0: Positive signs

Robbie Mutch made his debut. Picture Michael Gillen
Robbie Mutch made his debut. Picture Michael Gillen

Falkirk battled to a bruising point at Livingston and Paul Hartley described the result as a “springboard”.

The Bairns boss named rookie goalkeeper Robbie Mutch in the starting line-up for his debut and also handed returns to Craig Sibbald and Tom Taiwo in a 3-5-2 formation.

Louis Longridge saw his shot blocked. Picture Michael Gillen

Louis Longridge saw his shot blocked. Picture Michael Gillen

It worked well with a positive attitude shown from the Bairns throughout and a real threat in the first half.

Lee Miller missed the target three times - once with a particularly good header from a Tony Gallacher cross - while Neil ALexander beat away a Louis Longridge drive.

Mutch at the back was well protected by his three centre-backs, Aaron Muirhead, Jordan McGhee and Peter Grant and the young stopper looked assured despite Livingston’s long ball aerial bombardment.

It was a positive performance, but not a flawless one and creases can be ironed out by Hartley ahead of Saturday’s crucial trip to Dumbarton.

Craig Sibbald returned. Picture Michael Gillen

Craig Sibbald returned. Picture Michael Gillen

Communication break downs ceded possession at times and once almost cost Mutch his clean sheet when McGhee headed out of the goalkeeper’s grasp and James Pernice sent the rebound crashing off the bar.

Falkirk threw caution to the wind and pitched Myles Hippolyte and Rory Loy on up front for Miller and SIbbald but couldn’t find a way past Neil Alexander.

In the end it was a positive point with the Bairns standing up to the battle and holding out for a point in a stop-start game littered with fouls.