Falkirk set for fourth straight season in third tier after loss

Falkirk’s miserable League 1 campaign was finally put out it’s misery as the Bairns 2-0 loss to champions elect Cove Rangers confirmed that they would spend a fourth consecutive season in SPFL’s third tier.

By Andrew Macleod
Saturday, 9th April 2022, 6:15 pm
Updated Monday, 11th April 2022, 5:17 pm

It was a third successive defeat for Falkirk as a Harry Milne double meant Martin Rennie’s side were defeated by Cove Rangers at The Falkirk Stadium.

The first half was a scrappy affair, with plenty of niggly fouls and the ball spending much of the opening period in the air.

The match opened with Cove holding onto the ball well and Falkirk struggled to maintain consistent possession.

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Falkirk were consigned to a fourth straight spell in League 1 after today's defeat (Pictures: Michael Gillen)

Fraser Fyvie blasted over from 20 yards with the first shot of the game, and minutes later was denied again from close range by a Robbie Mutch save after going through on goal, although the Cove Rangers number 24 was deemed offside by the linesman’s flag.

There was bad news for the visitors before the ten-minute mark as talismanic striker Rory McAllister went down twice through injury before bowing out to be replaced by Leighton McIntosh.

Falkirk’s first opportunity of the game arrived just after. Steven Hetherington’s ball to the back post was met by Leigh Griffiths, but the Falkirk striker fired wide from a tight angle.

Despite coming on as an early sub, McIntosh made an impact and had a couple of excellent chances to open the scoring.

Callumn Morrison battles to hold onto possession in midfield

The Cove forward headed well over from the centre of the box before bursting into the box down the left flank. His shot was well saved by Mutch, and Iain Vigurs’ free kick from the edge of the box straight after was smashed into his own player.

With ten minutes left in the half Falkirk had their best spell in possession but were unable to find the final ball.

The Bairns continued to play some neat stuff at times as the first half headed to a close, but it was still the visitors who looked the more dangerous going forward.

Cove started stronger in the second half, troubling Mutch with a series of corners.

Management team Martin Rennie and Kenny Miller on the touchline

54 minutes in they made the breakthrough as a Shay Logan cross to the back post was headed in by Harry Milne.

At the hour mark the visitors doubled their lead. Robbie Mutch rolled the ball out to Charlie Telfer who was outmuscled by the Cove press and Harry Milne fired home from the edge of the box.

After Cove’s second the game slowed, with neither side creating any chances of note.

The Bairns came closest to scoring with two chances in the final ten minutes of the match.

Steven Hetherington tries to halt Fraser Fyvie's advancing run forward

Ryan Williamson made a marauding run down the right flank before finding Jaze Kabia with his cross, but the on-loan Livingston man should’ve done better with his header as he failed to keep it down.

It was Williamson who was the danger again five minutes from the end as he put the ball on a plate for Leigh Griffiths’, who would have had his third Falkirk goal if not for a brilliant Stuart McKenzie reflex save to keep the striker’s close-range header out.

And with Queen’s Park’s last-gasp winner against East Fife, they sealed a promotion play-off spot with Falkirk left stuck in League 1 for another year at least.

Leigh Griffiths goes for goal with a header in the second half