Monday verdict: Falkirk letting two-goal lead slip to part time side is criminal

Over the years Falkirk fans could home in on certain fixtures in the calendar and be reasonably confident of picking up three points.

However, this season it’s been increasingly difficult to look on games from week to week with such optimism. Even over the next five matches with Morton (home), Dundee United (away), Dunfermline (home), Ayr (away) and Partick Thistle (home) no-one of a Falkirk persuasion could predict with any degree of certainty how many victories or points they will pick up.

And yet, surely, last Saturday against Alloa, a part-time side, whom Falkirk haven’t lost to at home in 35 years, would have been one such fixture they could circle and mark three points.

Especially on the back of such euphoria the week before when Scott Harrison forced home a dramatic late winner to move the Bairns off the bottom of the table; especially when in last Saturday’s clash they built up a two-goal advantage in the first half and looked comfortable.

Paul Paton comes close to scoring a second goal. (picture: Michael Gillen)

When points are so hard to come by and the stakes so high for a team dicing with relegation, losing a two-goal lead to part timers at home is unforgivable. No disrespect to Alloa, but it is nothing that won’t have been said in that Falkirk dressing room after the game.

Having been relegated with Dundee United, Paul Paton is feeling a sense of deja-vu with the way this season is going. He was brutally honest in his post match assessment calling it an “embarrassment”. The problem is though that has been said so many times of displays this season that it is beginning to lose its meaning.

This wasn’t Falkirk’s worst performance but to drop two points from a position of strength is “criminal” and an indication of the team’s fragility.

Paul paton was Starshot three point winner. Picture Michael Gillen.

They had started brightly and gone two up through Demi Petravicius and Paton. There was nothing remarkable about the goals – two crosses into the box and both took their chances when they came. Clinical. Liam Dick not so much when he missed from a mere yard, before Paton went up the other end and doubled the Bairns’ lead.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Falkirk 2 Alloa 2 - live

It felt like a pivotal moment in the game. However, the Bairns were architects of their own downfall. Jordan McGhee was short with a back header. Could Leo Fasan have been more assertive and came out and cleared instead of retreating? Perhaps. Jake Hastie wasn’t waiting to find out and squared for Alan Trouten for a tap-in. Alloa continued their fightback. Dario Zanatta hit the post, and from the resultant corner – after a melee on the goaline – Trouten backheeled the ball over the line from three yards, highlighting Falkirk’s soft centre.

Paton summed it up succinctly, “if the boys don’t get the finger out, we will be relegated.”

Demi Petravicius scored first. Picture Michael Gillen.

Fans might be circling a few more fixtures on their calendar next season but they will be hoping it won’t be because they have dropped down a division as a result.

Paton scored the Bairns' second. Picture Michael Gillen.
Dennon lewis and Prince Buaben thanked fans for their anti-racism display. Picture Michael Gillen.