REPORT: Falkirk 3 St Mirren 1

Falkirk came from behind to defeat ten-man St Mirren and go third in the Championship.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 3rd December 2016, 5:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th December 2016, 12:41 pm
Jack Baird was sent off for his part in a clash with Lee Miller. Pic by Michael Gillen.
Jack Baird was sent off for his part in a clash with Lee Miller. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Trailing at the interval, but with a numerical advantage, the Bairns won the day with second-half goals from Lee Miller, Bob McHugh, and Myles Hippolyte.

Falkirk were slow out of the blocks but there was enough action to cast aside those drab early minutes, but not before the Bairns had been punished.

St Mirren had the best of the early exchanges with the ball based in and around the Falkirk defensive area practically from kick-off.

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Jack Baird was sent off for this clash with Lee Miller. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Falkirk looked every bit the team idle last week and before they regained their momentum or rhythm were behind as Lewis Morgan thumped a terrific strike beyond Danny Rogers.

It had been coming, but what followed blew away the cobwebs and the mist that hung over The Falkirk Stadium.

Falkirk retaliated to the Saints’ opener by testing Scott Gallacher who was down smartly to beat away a James Craigen shot at his near post, and then had his palms stung by a John Rankin drive.

The home support was restless with what they were seeing, and justifiably so. Rankin’s blushes were saved when he lost [possession on the touchline beside the Bairns dug-out with only David McCracken for cover, and only a wayward strike from Stevie Mallan stopped the Bairns from a self-inflicted concession.

Jack Baird was sent off for this clash with Lee Miller. Pic by Michael Gillen.

But the game erupted on 38 minutes when Lee Miller – a frequent thorn in the Buddies’ side last year contested a high ball with Jack Baird. The Saint landed heavily on the veteran striker and as the players untangled on the ground the visitor swung a punch into the striker’s face.

Craig Thompson immediately showed the St Mirren defender a red card and Miller also saw red but only as blood seeped from a wound at the bridge of his nose, requiring treatment.

Suddenly the spark was back and tackles from the Paisley side flew in. Myles Hippolyte took a heavy one from Rocco Quinn who later took down his former Queen of the South team-mate Mark Kerr and they exchanged words off the ball before sorting out their differences at the half-time whistle.

From the red card it was a feisty affair, Mark Kerr took to driving the Bairns forward but their charge, and momemtum was paused for half-time. The home support roared the players off, but it could have been very different without the red card flashpoint.

And so it was with 11 vs 10, the second half was very different from the first.

- roared out of the tunnel and were ahead within two minutes as Miller converted Myles Hippolyte’s cross.

It was one-way traffic too with Falkirk all over the Buddies.

Shortly after one change the Bairns scored and the same happened with Bob McHugh and| Scott Shepherd| Player stats} replacing James Craigen

Craig Sibbald skipped into the box and fashioned space for a shot but McHugh - being the typical striker - nipped in and blasted at goal. Gallacher saved with his legs and from the resultant corner Bob McHugh made sure by bundling Luca Gasparotto’s header across the line for his first of the season in the league.

The Bairns were on easy street and the slow start was soon forgotten about and they extended their lead through Myles Hippolyte – who had been booked for diving in the box shortly after the equaliser – silencing the boo-boys in the away support who had targetted him for abuse since his clash with Quinn.

The win sends the Bairns third in the SPFL Championship, six points behind the joint leaders Hibernian and Dundee United.