QOS 2 Falkirk 2: Longridge leaves it late

Louis Longridge's fleet-footed finish salvaged a point for Falkirk in Dumfries.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 9:42 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd April 2018, 10:49 pm
Falkirk boss Paul Hartley
Falkirk boss Paul Hartley

The Bairns had led at the break after an excellent first half performance, but were overpowered by two thundering goals from the home side before Longridge rounded Callum Fordyce in the six-yard area to prod the visitors level late on.

Falkirk should have had the game out of sight after a dominant first half but Joe Thomson then Darren Brownlie gave the Doonhamers the lead after the break.

In a fairly tame opening, Falkirk opened the scoring with an opportune strike from Andrew Nelson just five minutes in.

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Doonhamers boss Gary Naysmith

Alex Jakubiak tried to thread the ball through for the on loan Sunderland man after five minutes but Kyle Cameron stepped up and read the pass.

However his control let him down and the striker took no second invitation to rob the defender and stroke by Jack Leighfield.

Queen of the South looked lost without talisman Stephen Dobbie, though Derek Lyle chased mostly Bairns backpasses to pressure Conor Hazard there ash’s much to worry Paul Hartley early on.

Alex Jakubiak’s close control was a joy to behold - again and countless times throughout the 90 he crafted his way out of tight situations, even with two opponents swarming around him. That said, Lewis Kidd rivalled him in the first half with some wide wizardry and then a through ball to Jakubiak which he controlled and was then scythed down by Callum Fordyce. Ref Stevie Kirkland though thought the striker had embellished the contact and booked the on-loan Watford man.

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Andy Nelson wasn’t to be outdone either. As well as his early strike a bullish performance form the striker terrorised the home defence and really gave them an uncomfortable evening when switching from Nelson’s strength and power to Jakubiak’s control and guile.

Indeed, all of the Bairns looked capable of some trickery and the tidy exchanges they all combined in were impressive as the first half drew to a close. And when they broke down, the Bairns had the bite to get the ball back and quickly.

Late on the. Home side had a chance when Dom Thomas flashed a strike from 20yards just wide of Conor Hazard’s post and Peter Grant made a timely intervention a minute from the break to deny Derek Lyle, but other than that it had been an impressive and dominant first half from the Bairns and they fully deserved the raucous backing they had received throughout the opening 45.

Doonhamers boss Gary Naysmith

Falkirk have never dropped points in the second half under Paul Hartley, but their start to the second half was a nightmare as the curtain closed on that particular statistic.

They went behind just six minutes after the restart when Joe Thomson rifled in a Dom Thomas corner that had been nodded clear by Tommy Robson. No-one picked up the runner and he left now doubt about the finish.

Paul Hartley’s frustration became anger not long after with a series of errors allowing Queen’s onto the Bairns and needless concessions of possession.

For all the bite and tenacity of the first half this was lacklustre and careless from the Bairns. They re-discovered it, but it was too late with Queens level and then ahead.

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A bizarre corner was given against Tommy Robson with the left back too cute trying, and missing, to blast off Shaun Rooney for a throw-in, and conceding a corner from 30 yards out.

Danny Carmichael floated the set-piece in and it was dispatched with aplomb by Darren Brownlie, outjumping everyone in the box to send the home side ahead.

After the dynamic start Jakubiak and Nelson were estranged up top, Paul Hartley brought Louis Longridge and Alex Harris on to try and conjure up an equaliser and the duo did bout only after Longridge launched a verbal barrage at the defence, and stepped up and took a Harris pass and tucked away the equaliser from close range with three minutes to go.