The Benchman is concerned that some players are taking timewasting to extremes, and hopes Falkirk can learn to cope without their star striker ahead of Saturday’s semi-final.
BEAT THE CLOCK: In over 60 years of watching football, I have never seen such an awful display of blatant time-wasting than that provided by Livingston the other week. I know it’s a professional sport and that results matter, that Livingston were desperate and that many would say “it’s part of the game”. Those who developed the so-called Beautiful Game would be appalled to see what has happened. Shirt-pulling, blocking, diving and blatant time-wasting. I would love to see the referee supervisor’s report on that performance. Seven Livingston players booked? Goalkeeper Jamieson must be a stick-on for next year’s Oscars. Worryingly, those pressmen at the game didn’t see fit to mention the time-wasting tactics.
The big difference was in the final third, where Rory Loy was sadly missed. Since his injury in the cup tie at Palmerston, Falkirk have struggled to get goals
WELL DONE LADS - NOT: There are several occasions of teams applauding their opponents on to the park, after a cup or league win - even bitter rivals. An Ayrshire Cup final photo I have shows Ayr forming a guard of honour for Frank Beattie and his Kilmarnock colleagues after they had won the old First Division title on goal average from Hearts. Now that is a rivalry - there is no love lost there, but the Ayr lads did acknowledge the achievement of their bitterest rivals. For Hibs to refuse to recognise Hearts title win by clapping them on to the park is just plain daft. ‘Health and Safety’ no doubt?
WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Lyle Taylor’s career has been fairly erratic since he left Falkirk, but there’s no denying he has found his feet again at Partick Thistle. It’s funny how a player finds a particular club where he shines, despite mediocre performances elsewhere. Lyle has been at 13 clubs and has been put out on loan seven times. His 24 goals in 34 League games for Falkirk was a career highlight and led to a move to Sheffield United. Many Bairns fans would love to have seen him play alongside Farid or Rory. Anyway, good luck to the player and congratulations on his Montserrat caps.
ANSWERS: The mystery player was the late Bobby Morrison and Falkirk signed Joe McLaughlin from Watford.
TEASER: Falkirk transferred keeper Tony Parks to which club in 1996?
HOMELY OR WHAT? There are not many grounds where you are greeted with a handful of sweeties from the local newspaper reporter. (Is this a hint - Sports Ed) Palmerston was like a throw-back to old Brockville - a wooden stand, rusty beams and an old-fashioned announcer. Brilliant - and pies and Bovril at reasonable prices.
CUTTING EDGE: Falkirk played Queens off the park in that second half and the possession count must have been at least 65:35 in their favour. The big difference was in the final third, where Rory Loy was sadly missed. Since his injury in the cup tie at Palmerston, Falkirk have struggled to get goals. The Loy-Baird partnership had looked so promising too.
MYSTERY PIC: Can you name the Falkirk player from the 1940s seen above?