ANOTHER early goal, another defeat - the malaise around Falkirk’s results shows no signs of abating.
The Bairns were denied a penalty when Mark Millar was brought down by Robert Douglas, and that, plus Carl Finnigan’s red card contributed to the Bairns still pursuing their first victory of the season against the three top-performing teams in Division One.
Dundee’s Craig Forsyth headed the only goal of the game from close range after meeting Gary Irvine’s cross on eight minutes.
That threatens to derail the championship charge and, as the club found out to their cost last season, when things aren’t going well, the breaks don’t tend to fall your way either.
Millar should certainly have had a penalty when he lifted the ball over Douglas.
The goal was gaping, but the keeper hauled down the midfielder inside the box. To make matters worse, when Falkirk did put the ball in the net, it cost them their one fit striker.
Carl Finnigan appeared to punch the ball as he jumped to meet Jack Compton’s corner. The referee certainly thought so and sent the striker off with his second booking of the match.
Mark Stewart, still curtailed by a troublesome groin, should have scored from the build-up to the corner, as should have Finnigan. But neither did.
Stewart raced through one-on-one with Douglas, but shot straight at the tottering keeper whose injuries appear to be rapidly catching up with him.
Douglas kicked the ball up and it spun high into the air towards goal. Finnigan raced in to make sure – but didn’t – as Gary Irvine who cleared for a corner. Then he imploded.
Mark Millar also threatened to let his frustration boil over again, and, after a customary booking, was substituted by Steven Pressley before he joined Finnigan. But he wasn’t the only one.
Falkirk’s players should be much closer in this championship race, and they know it.
That’s leading to frustration, from the players and Steven Pressley, who fell foul of the referee.
He says his players are giving their all, and their efforts please him, but they are not enough, and the rub of the green needs to fall Falkirk’s way soon for the championship chase to gain some much-needed impetus.
After Saturday’s defeat, from a looping Forsyth header as Dundee battered Falkirk’s penalty box for the opening quarter of an hour, there’s 10 points between the Bairns and the league leaders.
They only have Robert Olejnik’s stunning one-handed slap to a Harkins free-kick to thank for the score not being any worse during that early bombardment, and another in the second half from trialist Tam Brighton that kept Dundee out for the remainder.
Speaking to Heraldsport after the game, Mark Stewart said it was all too obvious what had cost Falkirk the three points.
He said: “Losing early goals is killing us – we must start games better.
“We were completely outplayed in the first half and I missed our best chance in the second.
“I though we’d scored when Carl was sent off and was about to celebrate when I heard the Dundee players complain.”