Battling Bairns edge out Buddies

Falkirk hauled themselves level on points with St Mirren at the foot of the SPL table after a 2-1 home win over the Buddies on Saturday.

Last Updated: 10/04/10 at 17:53 Post Comment

Moutinho: On target against St Mirren

Moutinho: On target against St Mirren

More of the games that matter

Watch Manchester City v Manchester United live only on Sky Sports this Super Sunday. Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Portuguese forward Pedro Moutinho curled home a sublime free-kick two minutes into first-half stoppage time, his sixth of the season, before turning provider for a scrappy second goal in the 67th minute.

St Mirren substitute Andy Dorman pulled one back in injury time but it was too little too late.

Steven Pressley's side remain bottom on goal difference, but their first back-to-back wins of the campaign have given their survival chances a massive lift and brought others into the relegation mix.

St Mirren were seeking a fourth straight success at the Falkirk Stadium, but they remain winless in the league for almost six months after a deserved triumph from the resurgent hosts.

Pressley recalled Brian McLean after suspension in place of Tam Scobbie. Kieran Duffie, the 18-year-old defender, retained his place for just a third start.

Gus MacPherson suffered a pre-match blow as ex-Bairn Jack Ross missed out with an ankle injury. Dorman dropped to the bench with Garry Brady and David Barron coming in.

A healthy crowd filtered in for a key fixture, with the Paisley support almost filling the North Stand.

The Bairns, after just two previous wins at home all season in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League, looked determined for success in the April sunshine.

They made a lively start and Scott Arfield's six-minute free-kick, which flashed two yards wide of the right post, saw them go close first.

Barron replied with a drive into a ruck of bodies, later pleading to referee Dougie McDonald for a penalty for handball, before firing the rebound high over Robert Olejnik's bar.

As the play initially excited, Duffie picked out Mark Stewart with a superb cross from the right but the striker shot just over on the volley.

The Buddies began to look more of a threat on the break with Michael Higdon, whose goal kept Falkirk up last season under John Hughes, the focal point of their attack.

It had become the scrappy, tense affair many expected, yet chances still came.

Colin Healy fed Moutinho on the edge of the penalty area but he pulled wide of the left upright.

St Mirren almost struck in the 33rd minute when Olejnik was forced to make his first save, denying Steven Thomson, another former Falkirk player, at his near post.

On the stroke of half-time, Duffie played in Arfield, whose drive was pushed clear by Paul Gallacher before Healy blazed the rebound over.

The sides looked set to go in goalless at the break but in the second minute of stoppage time Falkirk's persistence paid off.

Moutinho appeared to go to ground too easily under a challenge from St Mirren skipper John Potter some 20 yards from goal.

The pair exchanged some harsh words before the attacker dusted himself down and curled in a sweet right-footed free-kick over the wall and beyond Gallacher. As the interval whistle sounded, Potter angrily continued his protests with McDonald.

MacPherson made his first change after just 50 minutes, Dorman replacing Hugh Murray.

St Mirren were enjoying more of the ball but Falkirk were restricting them to long-range opportunities.

In fact, chances at both ends were proving elusive as a midfield battle ensued.

Then, out of nothing on 65 minutes, Falkirk struck a crucial second goal.

Moutinho's free-kick looked tame, but Darren Barr got a slight flick on the ball for it to hit Higdon and wrong-foot Gallacher.

Stewart then fired just wide from a tight angle as the home side's confidence grew.

MacPherson had seen enough and withdrew Lee Mair and Higdon on 69 minutes, as Steven Robb and Rory Loy came on.

Tensions then looked set to boil over as Barr and Billy Mehmet argued in the far corner, with Moutinho rushing over to shove the Buddies striker. Both Mehmet and Moutinho were yellow-carded.

Arfield could have added gloss to the outcome eight minutes from the end but he skewed badly wide after being set up by the impressive Ryan Flynn.

From a Chris Innes centre, Dorman headed home from point-blank range two minutes into stoppage time but Falkirk held on.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Friday, 31 October 2014
19:45
St J'stone 2-1 Motherwell  
Sunday, 26 October 2014
13:00
Celtic 2-0 Kilmarnck Report
Saturday, 25 October 2014
15:00
Dundee 2-0 Hamilton Report
Inverness 1-0 Dundee U Report
Partick 0-0 St J'stone Report
St Mirren 2-2 Ross Co Report
Friday, 24 October 2014
19:45
Aberdeen 1-0 Motherwell Report
Saturday, 18 October 2014
15:00
Dundee U 1-0 Partick Report
Motherwell 1-3 Dundee Report
St J'stone 1-2 Kilmarnck Report

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal not envious of City's star-studded squad

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal insists he has no reason to be jealous of City's squad ahead of Sunday's derby.

Premier League: Jose Mourinho says his Chelsea team is 'not perfect'

Jose Mourinho says he is content with Chelsea's current position across all fronts but insists they can still improve.

Premier League: European players are suffering loss of street football, says Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes societal changes and the loss of street football has affected European players..

Mail Box

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property