MONDAY VERDICT: Same old story for Falkirk

David Mitchell prepares to pounce on Stephen Dobbie's penalty after pushing it onto the post. Picture Michael Gillen.
David Mitchell prepares to pounce on Stephen Dobbie's penalty after pushing it onto the post. Picture Michael Gillen.

Sports Editor David Oliver looks back on Falkirk’s 2-0 reverse at Queen of the South.

Fan, short for fanatic or fanatical – to be obsessively concerned with something. To be mad about it.

And if Albert Einstein is to be believed the definition of madness and insanity is to do the same thing over and over and over again and expect a different result.

These Falkirk fans are being treated to the same old story every week as the Bairns continue to be rolled over by teams in the Championship. Still they turn out hoping that this week it might just be their week.

It wasn’t. Again. Mad about it? It’s maddening.

But what choice does Ray McKinnon have? He’s lumbered with the squad he has until January at least. Playing the same players and hoping for a different outcome, that some tactical tweak might just tighten up the defensive end and expand the attack. But the same results are being returned.

Pitching in Marcus Haber, going two up front to tower over the Queen of the South defence and then more direct passing was a good idea on paper, but in practical terms it was the same old story. No bite up front, and defensive lapses costly.

The Bairns looked OK in that first half though the manager paid as much tribute to the elements and the wind which helped repel the Doonhamers as he did his team.

They were encouraged further by David Mitchell’s dramatic penalty save to deny Stephen Dobbie. It capped a fine return by the goalie. It lifted the Bairns and Haber should have done better with a point-blank header after wonderful trickery from Deimantas Petravicius. He headed straight at Alan Martin.

Falkirk were a match for Dobbie, which is a positive because the little striker has won games almost single-handedly against the Bairns in the past.

What Dobbie did, the Bairns matched, even down to hitting the crossbar in the second half. That’s as close as they came, when Andy Irving twisted round two challenges and struck the woodwork. It’s as close as they’ve come for many weeks. But it’s been the same outcome.

While up front that is a slight improvement it’s the same old story at the back. Paul Paton and Ruben Sammut rushed to close out Dobbie the dangerman leaving Andy Stirling to send in a cross for Michael Doyle to float in the 52nd minute opener.

Then the deflated Bairns were burst two minutes later by Jordan Marshall’s charge up the left and early shot – with space to shoot no less – that beat David Mitchell from outside the area.

The Bairns can deal with set-pieces. They cleared seven QOS corners – but never far enough. Never enough to gain relief from an onslaught of pressure. They needed more, to go further. Falkirk need more, and to go the extra mile to get out of this predicament, because this same old story, the same old results, won’t have a happy ending.