QOS 4 Falkirk 2: Bairns go down battling

Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.
Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.

A late flurry from Falkirk gave Queen of the South a scare at Palmerston but wasn't enough to snatch an unlikely point.

Late goals from Joe McKee and Jordan McGhee made the ending to what had been a fairly comfortable game for Gary Naysmith's men a little nervous, before Derek Lyle wrapped up the points in injury time.

James Craigen went close with a diving header. Picture Michael Gillen.

James Craigen went close with a diving header. Picture Michael Gillen.

The Bairnswent down battling, and Paul Hartley finally saw his side score, but it was too little too late in a game where the Bairns gave themselves a mountain to climb in the first half.

Yet for a bewildering five minute spell where Falkirk were rocked by two goals and looked at sixes and sevens at the back, they probably had the slightly better of the play in the first half.

Not that you could tell from Paul Hartley's reactions on the touchline. Nor that spell where it all unravelled.

The boss became increasingly agitated as the first half wore on and his Bairnsstill struggled to score.

Cieran Dunne again caught the eye. Picture Michael Gillen.

Cieran Dunne again caught the eye. Picture Michael Gillen.

They would eventually though and in the first half they came close with Alan Martin's point-blank stop denying a James Craigen diving header after some excellent build-up and an Aaron Muirhead cross.
Nathan Austin went close too, to knocking in a Cieran Dunne cross shortly before the interval.

But the Bairns went into that down after two barmy and needlessly conceded goals.

A slack pass back caused all sorts of issues and Robbie Thomson was needlessly under pressure. He booted clear but it was charged down by Stephen Dobbie and he got the break of the ball and rolled in the opener on 16 minutes.

Just two minutes afterwards the Bairns were two down as a Dobbie flick-on runs wide and Thomsonran to collect but Lyndon Dykes was alert to lift the ball over the keeper from a tight angle.

Nathan Austin. Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.

Nathan Austin. Paul Hartley. Picture Michael Gillen.


Falkirk had channeled play, as much as possible, down the left wing to Cieran Dunne and the youngster didn't disappoint, and looked confident on the ball on his first competitive start. He was still on the ball late on, and helped earn the Bairns' first goal.

Myles Hippolyte should have had the run on Scott Mercer on the other flank but didn't exploit the play often enough, and was hooked at half-time as Paul Hartley rang the changes.

Rory Loy replaced Nathan Austin and Hippolytewas switched with Lee Miller in a change of tact form the Bairns.

Before they could have a real impact on the game Thomsonwas called into action to deny Dobbie with a decent standing stop and then the same frontman who has so often punished the Bairns was left free at the backpost at a corner kick, but pulled his strike wide, to the Bairns' relief.

Not for the first time, Stephen Dobbie hurt Falkirk. Picture Michael Gillen.

Not for the first time, Stephen Dobbie hurt Falkirk. Picture Michael Gillen.

The first half optimism had ebbed away by the hour as Queens tried to see out the game with their two-goal cushion, they added to it with 15 minutes to go with a Darren Brownlie header after an extended period of pressure from the home side.

From then on it was when ref Stevie Kirkland would call time on a Queens victory but by the time he did, Joe McKee had pulled one back for the Bairns from a free-kick after Shaun Rooney pulled back Cieran Dunne and Jordan McGhee had made the ending nervous for the home side.

But with Falkirkpushing for an equaliser, unlikely after
QOS had cruised though the second period, Derek Lyle picked them off with the home side's fourth.

League table: SPFL Championship