A tremendous team effort ends 7 year wait for a win at Falkirk
No change to the starting line up. Changes on the bench - Joe Cardle and Jean Yves M'Voto, both back from injury, replacing Dean Shiels and Conner Duthie.
It's been 7 long years since we won at the 3 Sided Arena in Grangemouth but today's win, and the celebrations in the away end, made the long overdue victory all the more enjoyable for the Pars support that packed out the away stand. Falkirk, who had been unbeaten in 7 matches going into the game today, were made to look very ordinary for much of the game and even when, as expected, pressing for a late equaliser, lacked the quality required to pull back a second goal. The best chances of the game fell to Nicky Clark - a first half header that was well saved by Falkirk keeper Conor Hazard; a second half chance that he missed with his head from close range after a pinpoint Kallum Higginbotham cross; and, late in the game, running in on goal but putting his shot in the side netting. Clark was also penalised for a foul that gave Falkirk their penalty, although from a distance it looked like a good tackle - video footage may prove me wrong.
Higginbotham had endured a torrid game at Falkirk earlier this season when he was sent off, but today he was a contender for man of the match with a goal (which took a deflection off Paul Watson), the previously mentioned cross for Clark, and general good play and his usual tracking back to help in defence. The Falkirk support tried to bait Higgy by over-reacting to any slight contact he had with a Falkirk player; Fraser Aird and James Craigen, our other 2 ex-Bairns, also received no love from their former fans but Aird gave the perfect response by netting the second Pars goal after Declan McManus' shot went wide of target but was met by the in-rushing Aird.
After Falkirk pulled a goal back from the penalty, scored by Aaron Muirhead with 11 minutes remaining, Jean Yves M'Voto was brought on to bolster a defence that would be pressed for the remaining minutes. Big Nat had earlier been subbed on to add strength to the midfield. A clash of heads involving M'Voto and Falkirk's Andrew Nelson meant there was time to be added on, which seemed to last an eternity. Referee Don Robertson blew the final whistle after 96 minutes to spark wild scenes in the away end, with the Pars players also showing how much the win meant to them. Much in the same way as the win over Livi in midweek, this result showed the unity within the Pars squad. Players and fans left the unfinished stadium happy and looking ahead to the next game, at home to Brechin next Saturday.