Falkirk stay clear at top of table after beating bogey side Clyde 2-1

Falkirk remain clear of second-placed Cove Rangers at the top of League One after beating Clyde, a bogey side for them last season, 2-1 today, April 10.

Saturday, 10th April 2021, 5:39 pm
Updated Saturday, 10th April 2021, 5:57 pm
Falkirk players celebrating No 4 Ben Hall's opening goal against Clyde today, April 10 (Picture: Michael Gillen)

Opening the scoring for the hosts at the Falkirk Stadium against their visitors from Cumbernauld was Ben Hall on nine minutes.

The defender put his team ahead following a flurry of opportunities.

Conor Sammon was played through on goal but had his attempt put out for a corner.

Ben Hall and team-mates celebrating after Falkirk took the lead against Clyde today, April 10 (Picture: Michael Gillen)

Mark Durnan then went close from that corner but had his header stopped on the line, only for the ball to fall to Dundee United loanee Kai Fotheringham to take a shot from the edge of the box.

That effort too was blocked, but Hall, 24, was also on hand to finally make that period of attacking play count and give the Bairns the lead their positive approach deserved.

Callumn Morrison had a chance to double that lead on 25 minutes but was kept at bay by Clyde goalkeeper David Mitchell.

Aidan Keena was able to do the honours on 67 minutes, though, finding the back of the net after Clyde failed to clear a ball into the danger area from Morrison.

Falkirk co-manager David McCracken and Clyde boss Danny Lennon shaking hands at the end of the game (Photo: Michael Gillen)

That was the 21-year-old’s first league goal for the Bairns since arriving last August from Hartlepool United and also his side’s first victory in four games in all competitions, their last one being a 2-0 win away to bottom-placed Forfar at the end of March.

A third goal looked to be in the offing but never came, with a long-range Blair Alston free-kick 10 minutes later being kept out by Mitchell and Keena being denied a second entry on the scoresheet by the woodwork five minutes after that.

That failure to put the game beyond Danny Lennon’s side’s reach made for a nervier ending than ought to have been the case after Josh Jack got one back for them on 84 minutes but the Bairns were able to hold on to claim all three points.

Falkirk’s starting line-up today was Robbie Mutch in goal with Paul Dixon, Hall, Durnan, Blair Alston, Keena, Lewis Neilson, Sammon, Charlie Telfer, Fotheringham and Morrison.

Josh Jack celebrating getting one back for Clyde, making for a nervier ending than their hosts would have hoped for (Photo: Michael Gillen)

On the bench were Jay Cantley, Scott Mercer, Morgaro Gomis, Akeel Francis, Robbie Leitch, Euan Deveney, David McClelland, Gary Miller and co-boss Lee Miller.

Hall went off injured soon after half-time and was replaced by McClelland and Fotheringham made way for Leitch on 62 minutes. A triple change followed on 85 minutes as Francis, Gary Miller and Deveney were brought on for Keena, Dixon and Telfer to see the game out.

Falkirk are three points clear at the top of the table with 31 points from 16 games, with their North Lanarkshire guests third from bottom with 17 points from 15 games.

The Bairns had won both their games against Clyde so far this season, 3-0 away in the league in December and 2-1 at home in October in the league cup.

Last season was a different story, though, with Clyde coming out on top after all three league meetings, 3-2 at Broadwood Stadium last February and 1-0 both in Falkirk in October 2019 and Cumbernauld two months previously.

Cove kept up the pressure on Falkirk today with a 1-0 home win against second-bottom Dumbarton putting them on 28 points from 16 games, making the Bairns’ visit to their Balmoral Stadium home ground in Aberdeen next Saturday, April 17, a promotion-push six-pointer.