Morton 1 Falkirk 1 : 10-man Bairns take point

Paul Dixon saw red but it failed to derail Falkirk's unbeaten year so far.

By David Oliver
Friday, 1st March 2019, 7:03 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 9:12 pm
Zak Rudden helps clear the pitch after his equaliser. Picture Michael Gillen.
Zak Rudden helps clear the pitch after his equaliser. Picture Michael Gillen.

The defender was shown a second yellow card by Andrew Dallas on the hour-mark, after a first half where Zak Rudden had cancelled out Greg Kiltie's opener.

It was an entertaining premiere for BBC Scotland's new Championship coverage, and they'll follow it up with a Falkirk double-bill next week when Ayr visit the Falkirk Stadium.

But the red card ended the entertainment as far as Falkirk were concerned as they struggled to attack with a man less than their hosts, but will take a valuable point that lifts them above Alloa in the league table.

Michael Tidser slides in on Ian McShane. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Ray McKinnon made two changes to the side restoring Abdul Osman and William Edjenguele to the starting line-up after last week's draw with Dundee United, which meant Tommy Robson and Mark Waddington dropped to the bench.

The Bairns created more in the first half, though Morton conversely looked most threatening.

Davis Keillor Dunn was the architect in chief for the Bairns and went close with the first effort of the game, a strike from the edge of the box that Robby McCrorie dived low to gather.

The closest the Ton came in the opening exhanges was a header from Gregor Buchanan - himself a former Falkirk community programme coach - when he beat Edjenguele in the air and saw Burgoyne claw the effort off the line.

Ray mcKinnon saw the unbeaten run continue at his former club. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Buchanan and Ian McShane clashed over the defender's challnege a short time later, and both were booked, but both were among the better performers ina first half where Keillor-Dunn and Morton's Reece Lyon also stood out.

Lyon was revelling in front of the BBC Scotland cameras for this Friday night fixture but it as Greg Kiltie who opened the scoring with a cutting run off the left wing, and then a trundling shot that fooled Harry Burgoyne after the former Kilmarnock man had jinked past Edjenguele and Ciaran mcKenna.

It pierced the wind from the Falkirk sails and Morton enjoyed a period of dominance and their fans, a spell of gloating. Ray McKinnon's return to Cappielow didn;t go unnoticed in the cowshed and dominated many of the chants throughout the first half.

Falkirk fans on the open terrace responded in defence of their manager, and the team responded with a goal too five minutes before the interval when Zak Rudden headed in Paul Dixon's supply from close range.

Morton took the lead with a great goal from Greg Kiltie. Picture: Michael Gillen.

It prompted a spillage of Bairns supporters over the barrier and onto the pitch, towards the Morton fans before order was quickly restored.

The game was bubbling away but it swung dramatically in Morton's favour on the hour when a slack pass out of defence from McKenna conceded possession to Michael Tidser and in Paul Dixon's retreat to cover he was adjudged to have pulled Greg Kiltie and was shown a second yellow card by ref Andrew Dallas - the referee with the highest card count in the Championship.

Ray McKinnon quickly sacrificed David Keillor-Dunn for Tommy Robson to restore the left-side of his defence, but Morton made their man advantage count with extended pressure around Harry Burgoyne's goal but Chris Millar fired just over and Reghan Tumilty found the side netting with another.

Falkirk rarely threatened with their man disadvantage and eventually switched Ian McShane for Ross MacLean's direct running and goalscorer Rudden for the fresh legs of Aaron Jarvis, but the Bairns barely escaped their own half.

Rudden heads into the top corner. Picture Michael Gillen
Zak Rudden equalised just before half-time. Picture Michael Gillen.
Abdul Osman closes down Tidser. Picture: Michael Gillen.