Falkirk 2
Dumbarton 2
League (Championship)


2 - 2


League (Championship)
Saturday, February 25th, 2017
The Falkirk Stadium. Att. 4,160
3:00 PM Kick-off

Luke Leahy (37)
Nathan Austin (59)
Lewis Vaughan (38)
Andy Stirling  (51)

Team Managers
Peter Houston Stevie Aitken

Starting Eleven
Danny Rogers
Luke Leahy
Aaron Muirhead
Tom Taiwo
Craig Sibbald
Myles Hippolyte
Peter Grant
Nathan Austin
Lee Miller
James Craigen
Paul Watson
Alan Martin
Daniel Harvie
Darren Barr
Mark Docherty
Gregor Buchanan
Stuart Carswell
David Smith
Andy Stirling
Christian Nade
Robert Thomson
Lewis Vaughan

Robbie Thomson
Luca Gasparotto
John Baird
Lewis Kidd
Bob McHugh
Mark Kerr
Fraser Aird
Jamie Ewings
Ross McCrorie
Tom Lang
Sam Stanton
Calum Gallagher
Kyle Prior
Garry Fleming

Fraser Aird for Myles Hippolyte (65)
John Baird for Lee Miller (74)
Bob McHugh for Nathan Austin (82)
Sam Stanton for Lewis Vaughan (78)
Garry Fleming for Christian Nade (81)
Ross McCrorie for Andy Stirling (90)

None. Darren Barr (45)
Gregor Buchanan (53)

Red Cards
None. None.

Match Officials

Mat Northcroft (Referee)

Photography by Donald Fullarton

Match Report

THIS time last week, a 2-2 draw was considered a disappointment.

Amazing the difference 90 further minutes can make.

Dumbarton left Falkirk having finished with the same scoreline as they unthinkably did against Ayr United seven days previously.

But the similarities between the two games begin and end with the result.

In a tough fixture, the goals that earned them a point were stunning. Lewis Vaughan's ferociously struck effort after 38 minutes was an immediate riposte to Luke Leahy's opener for the Bairns only 60 seconds earlier.

Sons' second, by Andy Stirling on 50 minutes, is described these days as an 'if Messi had scored it...' goal. After a few strides with the ball, he saw off the Bairns defence and thrashed it home from 20 yards.

Unfortunately the lead couldn't last, and nine minutes later Nathan Austin got the goal for Falkirk that proved to be the last of the afternoon.

Both teams hit the woodwork in the remaining part of the game, and the hosts had a goal disallowed for offside. But neither could find the net within the laws.

One eye was kept on events at Ayr, where St Mirren defeated the Honest Men 2-0, meaning Sons gained a further point on the Championship's bottom two. Their lead over the Buddies was cut by two points, but still 10 points clear, it's something they can absorb.

Just as they had to absorb some early pressure by Falkirk which did not translate into goals. Alan Martin saved a fierce James Craigen effort, but was then beaten by an Austin header which bounced wide.

Paul Watson also missed a good opportunity for Falkirk, heading Craigen's cross over when well placed.

But Martin was on form again for his next test, somehow pawing away Austin's header in a packed area. The ball spun loose, but Sons got it clear.

What they couldn't do anything about was Leahy's opener. Way out wide, he may have looked to put in a cross instead of a shot.

Whatever it was, it beat Martin at the far post and Falkirk were ahead.

Sons had to provide a response, but nobody expected anything so clinical, so immediately.

After weaving through challenges 15 yards out, Vaughan thrashed the ball beyond Danny Rogers.

It wasn't quite as far out as when he previously scored past the Bairns keeper in May 2015. That was for Raith against Sons - from the halfway line. But it didn't matter - Dumbarton were level.

Martin saved a Myles Hippolyte effort as Falkirk looked to restore their lead before half time.

The net closest to the Sons fans did bulge again - in the second half, courtesy of Stirling. And it was one you did want to see close up.

The midfielder controlled a through ball and, after seeing off the home defence, placed his shot out of Rogers' reach without breaking stride.

Sons knew to expect a response, and Falkirk wasted no time in providing it. Lee Miller looked to have equalised but Mark Docherty cleared his effort off the line, while Craig Sibbald bent a shot narrowly wide.

But on 59 minutes, Austin bent home a shot after connecting with a low ball from the left.

Chances were actually pretty scarce until the late stages of the game. With 10 minutes left, Stirling's corner found Robert Thomson, but his header hit the top of the bar and went over.

Just two minutes later a Sibbald shot thudded off the outside of the post and went wide.

And within a further minute Bob McHugh did hit the target after fellow sub John Baird set him up. However, Sons were saved by the offside flag.

Another substitute, Garry Fleming, did force one further opening for Sons, but after setting himself up, his shot from a narrow angle lacked pace and was saved.

Down to the final 10 games. Dunfermline Athletic next.

Match report written by Andy Galloway

Squad Statistics (as at February 25th, 2017)

2016-17 All Time
Alan Martin (GK)28 29 - 29 -
Gregor Buchanan26 312683
Mark Docherty28 304696
Darren Barr31 25 - 613
Daniel Harvie18 252252
David Smith23 331331
Stuart Carswell23 6 - 6 -
Andy Stirling 26 313313
Lewis Vaughan21 6161
Robert Thomson 23 336336
Christian Nade 32 732110
Ross McCrorie (sub)18 3 - 3 -
Garry Fleming (sub)29 29517232
Sam Stanton (sub)22 182182

League Table (as at February 25th, 2017)

No league table has been added for this season.