Falkirk1 Dumbarton 2: Paul Sheerin's side punished for missed chances

Falkirk suffered their fourth defeat in a row as Dumbarton took the spoils with a 2-1 win at the Falkirk Stadium.

Saturday, 18th September 2021, 5:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 18th September 2021, 5:19 pm
Aidan Nesbitt and Falkirk struggled to find a way past the Dumbarton defence (pic: Michael Gillen)

Goals by Kalvin Orsi and Callum Wilson sank Paul Sheerin’s side who could only manage a Charlie Telfer goal deep into stoppage time in reply.

Falkirk were hoping to get back on track after cinch League 1 losses to Queen’s Park and Alloa and an SPFL Trust KO at Kilmarnock.

And they started brightly; inside the first couple of minutes Aidan Nesbitt sent over a terrific delivery from the right by which Ryan McMcGeever did well to usher over his own bar under pressure from Michael Ruth.

But it wasn't a portent of things to come as Falkirk struggled to create anything against a disciplined Dumbarton side who shut down their space at every opportunity.

Indeed the best chance of the opening 25 minutes fell to the visitors as the Bairns defence struggled to clear their lines and the ball broke to Gregor Buchanan inside the box.

But the former Falkirk skipper didn't connect cleanly with his shot which trundled harmlessly through to Robbie Mutch.

Eventually Falkirk got their first real sight of goal when Charlie Telfer collected a Ruth pass, made space for himself at the edge of the box and fired in super strike which curved wide of both the diving Sam Ramsbottom and his left-hand post.

That sparked Falkirk’s best spell of the match as they forced the pace for the rest of the first half.

Nesbitt steered a shot wide of Ramsbottom only to see Paddy Boyle in position to stop it going in and Ruth's looping header from a Telfer free-kick came back off the bar with the keeper beaten.

Nesbitt then had a curling free-kick touched over at full stretch by Ramsbottom.

However the Bairns were forced into a change just before the break when Samuel Ompreon, who had looked a threat on the right, was unable to shake off the effects of a Boyle challenge and was replaced by new boy Declan McDaid.

Falkirk tried to pick up where they left off after the break and Steven Hetherington should have done better than fire high and wide from eight yards after Leon McCann created the opening.

But they were hit by a sucker punch on 59 minutes.

A simple ball through the middle wasn't dealt with by the home defence and Kalvin Orsi got in behind to squeeze a shot past Mutch and in off the post

Falkirk tried to respond and decent strikes from the edge of the box by Ruth and Telfer brought out diving saves from Ramsbottom.

But there was no end product to their work - in contrast to the visitors who doubled their advantage on 68 minutes.

Falkirk claims for a free-kick went unheeded and when the ball ended up at Callum Wilson's feet he played a one-two with Carlo Pignatiello before curling a superb finish beyond Mutch.

Paul Dixon lashed wide and Charlie Telfer had another effort blocked by Ramsbottom, but there was more than a hint of desperation to the home side's play as the prospect of a fourth successive defeat loomed large.

Falkirk were forced to finish the game with 10 men when Dixon went off following a clash of heads with Schiavone and the Bairns weren't allowed to bring on Ben Hall as a concussion substitute.

The finally found the net in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Telfer firing home the rebound after Nesbitt's shot came back off the post.

But it was too little too late for Sheerin' side.