Falkirk v Peterhead

Strong second half not enough to repair damage of insipid first

Dec 5, 2020

Falkirk                 2

Alston (25)

Sammon (45+1)

 

Peterhead          1

Cameron (77)

Peterhead again produced a ‘Night and Day’ performance as they went down 2-1 at Falkirk however a solid second half performance was not enough to repair the damage caused by a listless first 45 minutes.

Manager Jim McInally made two changes with Gary MacKenzie coming in for only his second start in the league and Alan Cook replacing Ben Armour who did not make the bench after pulling out on Friday night due to a hamstring problem.

The hosts had the first opening on 7 minutes when a break down the right created a chance for Connor Sammon however Joshua Rae was equal to it. A minute later Steven Boyd had a glimpse of goal for Peterhead however he chipped his effort wide.

On 18 minutes Anton Dowds burst clear of the visiting defence however Rae came out on top in their one to one confrontation by parrying his shot.

MacKenzie sent a header over the Falkirk bar and the Bairns made the most of that reprieve by opening the scoring on 25 minutes when Blair Alston converted a Charlie Telfer pass from 17 yards.

The Blue Toon looked to hit back and Boyd was on target when he cracked a half-volley towards the home goal however PJ Morrison made a fine block.

In first half injury time Falkirk moved two ahead with Telfer again the architect as he picked out Sammon with a pass and the striker slotted past Rae.

McInally had stern words with his side at the interval and just three minutes into the restart Alan Cook flicked Gary Fraser’s free-kick over.

On 55 minutes Cook should have brought Peterhead back into the game after he was picked out by Ryan Conroy who had twisted his way through the Falkirk defence to pick out his team-mate three yards from goal however Cook fired wide.

Boyd sent an opening wide before Falkirk almost picked Peterhead off from a breakaway with Dowds sending a header against the bar.

Lyall Cameron marked his introduction to the game quickly by cracking home a shot following a corner.

The goal triggered nerves in the league leaders and those nerves increased further when on-loan Dundee youngster Cameron had another glimpse of goal only for his shot to be blocked.

Jason Brown was sent forward in the closing stages as Peterhead searched for an equaliser and the move almost worked however the defender sent an injury time shot over Falkirk’s bar.

Jim said: “The second half was the standard I was expecting. The first half was not.”

Peterhead – Rae, Freeman, MacKenzie (Lyle 70) J Brown, Bailey, Conroy, Fraser, S Brown, McCarthy (Cameron 74), Boyd, Cook

Unused substitutes – Wilson, Kesson, Bakar

Falkirk v Peterhead

Falkirk                 3

Miller (9), McManus (25pen, 61)

 

Peterhead          0

 

A disappointing first half at The Falkirk Stadium aligned with a soft penalty decision gave Peterhead a mountain to climb and despite a much more competitive second half the Blue Toon went down 3-0 to the title chasing Bairns.

Manager Jim McInally’s game plan to frustrate Falkirk for as long as possible came unstuck after just nine minutes when Lee Miller showed the skills that made him a Scotland striker earlier in his career by slotting home an Aidan Connolly pass.

What the visitors did not need as they looked to get back into the game was for referee Craig Napier to hand Falkirk the chance of a second goal via the penalty spot 16 minutes later however that is what happened.

The award came when Connolly drilled a free-kick into a visiting defensive wall and Simon Ferry was harshly penalised for handball with Declan McManus netting from 12 yards to double Falkirk’s advantage.

Manager Jim McInally replaced Ryan Conroy with Alan Cook at the break and the January signing pepped up his side by driving at the home defence.

Cook had a shot saved and a much-improved performance gave Peterhead hope of getting back into the game.

That hope was extinguished on 61 minutes with Peterhead left with a grievance over this goal as well.

Jack Leitch looked to be fouled a few yards outside his own box however referee Napier awarded the free-kick to Falkirk and McManus cracked home the deal ball to make the score 3-0.

Peterhead saw the game out without any more damage however they were left rueing their slow start as well as key decisions in the second half that went against them.

The Balmoor men continue to sit third bottom of the table after Stranraer went down 4-1 at Montrose and Forfar lost 2-1 to Falkirk’s title rivals Raith Rovers.

 

Peterhead – Fleming, Eadie, J Brown, Bollan, Boyle, Conroy (Cook 46), Stevenson, Ferry, S Brown, Leitch (Fraser 60), Lyle (Boyd 65)

Unused substitutes – Smith, Armour, Ferguson, Wilson (G/k)

Falkirk v Peterhead

FALKIRK 4-0 PETERHEAD

Jack Leitch was restored to the team after an injury lay-off but Peterhead crashed to a 4-0 defeat at Falkirk, who scored twice in each half in a dominant display.

Connor Sammon started the rout in the 13th minute, heading past Greg Fleming from close range following a Louis Longridge cross.

Midway through the half, David McMillan rattled the post and that was a warning shot for the visitors because the former St Johnstone midfielder drilled home a crisp shot nine minutes before the interval.

Sammon had the chance to score his second and Falkirk’s third in the 59th minute when Scott Hooper conceded a penalty.  Fleming saved the spot-kick but Longridge reacted first to stab in the rebound.

Five minutes later, Declan McManus netted the goal of the game with an effort from outside of the box, which found the bottom corner.

The result, coupled with Montrose’s victory at Airdrie, saw the Blue Toon slump to second bottom of League 1.