Falkirk lose in Rennie's first match in charge

Falkirk head coach Martin Rennie was shown just how big a job he has on his hands after watching his sorry Bairns side slump to a 2-1 defeat to Clyde in cinch League 1.

By Ben Kearney
Sunday, 26th December 2021, 4:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th December 2021, 5:04 pm
Aidan Nesbitt on the ball (Pics: Michael Gillen)
Aidan Nesbitt on the ball (Pics: Michael Gillen)

Forward Aidan Keena scored from the spot early in the second half to give Falkirk the lead, but the visitors rallied and took all three points with Ally Love and Aaron Splaine grabbing the goals on a bitterly cold afternoon at the Falkirk Stadium.

Rennie's side lined-up much like last weekend’s postponed clash with East Fife. Craig McGuffie and Callumn Morrison were deployed as wing-backs in a fluid three-back formation.

The early signs were promising with Keena going close with a long range drive, with the Irishman looking confident after his performance last time out.

Head coach Martin Rennie

On 11 minutes Aidan Nesbitt thought he had found the opener only for Neil Parry to pull off a wonderful diving save. Seb Ross played the offside trap and crossed for Nesbitt who’s shot was destined for the top corner.

Clyde had their first chances of the match out of nowhere. Love’s cross was inch perfect and the volley from Adam Livingstone at the back post was saved by Martin.

Love moments later managed to miss a gilt-edged chance in the box as the visitors took control, the forward should have scored.

Target man Rob Jones thought he had found the goal for the Bully Wee after he netted a header but the referee had stopped play for a foul on 20 minutes.

Aidan Keena scored from the spot to give Falkirk the lead in the match

Both sides had begun to settle into the match after a hectic start.

Scott Rumsby at the heart of the Clyde defence was resolute at the back and made a superb block to halt Keena who looked destined to score from a McGuffie low cross on 34 minutes.

Just before the half time whistle both sides could have broken the deadlock. Mackenzie Lemon made a clearance on the line to halt Cunningham’s effort with Keena going close up the other end with a rasping curled shot shaving the far post.

Falkirk won a penalty on 51 minutes after Morrison was hauled down by Mark Docherty in the box. Keena stepped up and blasted the ball down the middle to give the Bairns the all-important lead.

Their lead would only last ten minutes with Clyde also converting from the spot on the hour mark. In a sea of bodies Jones was bundled over in the box and captain Love made no mistake from the spot.

On 75 minutes Falkirk’s recent deficiencies were laid bare when the Bully Wee took the lead through Splaine.

Jones’ knock on header gave the winger a free run on goal with the Bairns defence at sea and Martin’s attempted save was feeble.

With ten to go Morrison went close with a long range drive as Clyde started to sit deep and defend their lead.

Goalscorer Keena nearly levelled the match with a deft touch from a wide free kick, the ball evaded everyone including goalkeeper Parry but it just rolled past the far post.

After some huffing and puffing, the home side couldn't find a goal. If Martin Rennie didn't know the size of the task he has on his hands, he does now.