Match Report: Fakirk 1-2 Montrose
A late moment of controversy saw Falkirk denied a goal which would have secured their spot in the play-offs and now puts all the pressure on Tuesday’s match at Airdrieonians.
With the visitors leading 2-1 in the 90th minute it was Sean Kelly who curled in a well struck free kick for a late equaliser but referee Steven Kirkland blew to disallow the goal.
There was bemusement amongst the players and coaching staff as to why the goal did not stand, with interim Falkirk boss Gary Holt saying after the match that the explanation he was given was that Aidan Keena, who joined the Montrose wall, was encroaching when the ball was hit.
That late drama overshadowed the bigger meaning of the eventual result, that a defeat in their final league fixture at Airdrie on Tuesday and a win for Montrose against Partick Thistle would see the Bairns miss out on the play-offs altogether, an unthinkable outcome at the start and midway points of the season.
Falkirk made just one change to the starting line-up from their previous two matches, with Mo Gomis coming in to replace Gary Miller and also taking on the captain’s armband.
After their 5-0 hammering at Firhill on Thursday night a reaction was needed from the Falkirk players and it was the perfect one as they took the lead in the fourth minute.
Robbie Leitch did superbly to take the ball from midway in the half to 20 yards before an excellent reverse pass in to Conor Sammon who tucked it past Allan Fleming.
They almost made it 2-0 on eight minutes when good link up play carved the visitors open and Sammon was able to send Morrison in on goal but Fleming did well to close the angle and blocked the winger's shot away for a corner.
Robbie Mutch was then called into action when a Montrose free kick was played into the box and eventually fell to Aidan Quinn at the back post who leathered a right foot effort at goal on the half volley but the Bairns keeper blacked it away for a corner.
Both sides had more good opportunities in the half with Mercer shooting wide for the hosts, Cammy F Ballantyne forcing another block out of Mutch and Fotherimghamk testing Fleming from distance.
Falkirk had been the more dominant team in the half for sure but Montrose were creating chances and they managed to finish one off just before the break as Ballantyne picked the ball up in the area, took a great touch to get the ball onto his right foot and struck it sweetly across the face of goal, past Mutch and in off the inside of the far post.
The second half started Leitch forcing Fleming in to another block but it was on the hour mark when Montrose took the lead as Cammy Ballantyne played in Lewis Milne who slid his shot under Mutch.
Falkirk made changes as they brought on Anton Dowds and Aidan Keena at different times and Mutch had to keep out a Russell McLean effort to keep the game alive.
Dowds had a decent chance when collected a rebound in the area and took the ball forward before shooting into the side netting.
That was the last chance before the final minute when Kelly’s goal was disallowed as Montrose clinched the three points which keeps their play-off hopes alive and gives the Bairns a lot to think about going in to Tuesday’s match.