MONDAY VERDICT: Falkirk’s contradictions come costly against Clyde
Sports Editor David Oliver looks back at the weekend’s defeat and ponders a name change for Falkirk FC
Change in the boardroom? Change in the dugout? What about a change of name at Falkirk – to Contradiction FC.
A manager who placed four forwards on the field in an attacking formation, saw his selection and set-up struggle to create and unable to score a goal.
A club with a season-ticket boycott boasting the FOURTH BEST attendance in Scotland while playing in the third tier.
MATCH REPORT: Falkirk 0 Clyde 1
A support desperate for success but that turned on their team, and manager, in the second half by booing the team’s only substitution.
A preferred bidder intent on communication and transparency but limited in what he can say in takeover updates.
A team full of Championship-quality players faltering against a side that slipped into the division via the play-off back-door last season. Twice.
A team just a win from the top of the division, and also three points from seventh place in the league table.
Things should looking up for Falkirk, the foundations are there – and the club’s foundation was there to bolster the crowd to such commendable levels – but everything seems to have a flip side. And it showed in almost every department on Saturday.
What should have been an attacking buccaneering line-up was stifled by a resolute Clyde team who looked the best to have visited Westfield this season.
But not for the want of trying. This was a decent spectacle when the emotion and desparation for points is removed from it.
End to end football, a stunning late winner, busy stands just lacking what most were there to see – Falkirk taking top spot in the division.
Raith Rovers and East Fife were paving the way for it in Kirkcaldy, but against their Bully Wee bogey team Falkirk’s midfield disappeared and defence was occupied by David Goodwillie and terrorised by Chris Johnston and Ally Love out wide.
Too many had an off-day for the Bairns. Too many of the opposition were up for it – but that’s always going to be the case when they face the biggest team in the division, teams raise their game to contradict their own league placing – Clyde looked far better than bottom half of League One fodder.
They had the ball in the net twice, but only one counted. Conor Sammon had the ball in the net for the Bairns too, cancelling out Gregor Buchanan’s header for offside in desparation to get the Bairns over the line. Sammon perhaps summed up the Bairns contradictions. Capable of bulldozing through the defence, and showed flashes of it, but also conscious of his role as a team-player. When the link-up didn’t pay off the Bairns were punished with an affirming strike by Darren Smith seven minutes from time.
And as if they needed no more paradox, Morgaro Gomis of the Bairns midfield that didn’t seem to be there very shortly wasn’t – sent off for a second yellow card to rule him out of a trip to Forfar, enforcing a change in a line-up that won 4-0 last week, then slumped 1-0 this.