Match Review – Falkirk vs Dundee United

I’m finding it a challenge trying to sum up my feelings after yesterday. On one hand it is desperately disappointing to lose ground on Ross County after their superb comeback against Partick and our late collapse. On the other hand it is important to recognise that in terms of performance and effort, it is further proof that we are in a much stronger position compared to just a few months ago.

At various stages yesterday we were all set to gain an important advantage over both County and Ayr but in the end we are unfortunately looking at another bump in a road that is getting shorter and shorter. Yes we have to play Ross County twice and they have a difficult set of fixtures ahead of them, but so do we. It is not a case of giving up hope, and this division has shown us how unpredictable it can be, but things are getting incredibly difficult for us.

Yesterday’s match did however highlight the continued positivity at the club and the newly found connection between the players and the fans. Another huge travelling support gave their all and the team acknowledged this before kick-off and at the end of the game. It is nice feeling having this upturn in mood and long may it continue.

The performance itself was fairly positive but probably lacked the fluidity we have shown in spells over the last three or four games. It was a controlled and functional display but we were a bit guilty in not creating enough clear-cut chances and then of some poor decision making in the later stages. The Falkirk equaliser came from nothing but we were at fault for creating that opportunity for them and for not making it 2-0 with one or two good opportunities shortly before this.

Overall I am still in a positive and confident mood looking ahead to our run-in but I am also very aware that we are at the absolute end of being able to have any more slip ups. Ross County are in a strong position and we are relying heavily on being able to beat them twice. Unfortunately we are now also in a position where the title is out of our hands so we are needing others to do us some favours.

Player Ratings – 

1 – Benji Siegrist – Unfortunately another big error from the goalkeeper and it was very similar to his mistake against Alloa. Not good enough. 4

49 – Charlie Seaman – Always tries to do the right thing and is always keen to get forward. Maybe not as strong as he has been recently. 5

4 – Frederic Frans – Very unfortunate to go off and we hope that his injury is not a serious one. 5

55 – Mark Connolly – Another strong defensive performance in terms of doing the simple things well and leading his teammates. 6

17 – Jamie Robson – Continues to impress and is growing in confidence. His assist for the goal was a superb piece of play. 7

47 – Ian Harkes – Grew into the game and showed real quality at times. Turning in to a very important player for us. 7

18 – Calum Butcher – We really need someone like him in the middle of the park and he provides great physical presence. 6

50 – Peter Pawlett – Didn’t get going yesterday and was guilty of poor decision making. 5

10 – Nicky Clark – In and out of the game but didn’t really have much to work with. Not enough of an influence. 5

25 – Cammy Smith – Pleased he got his goal but probably guilty of the same issues as Pawlett in terms of not really having the best of games. 6

14 – Pavol Šafranko – Fairly quiet first half but had a superb opening spell in the second 45 as he put the Falkirk defence under real pressure. Astonishing decision to take him off. 7

Subs – 

9. Osman Sow – A really poor showing from the striker who was incredibly guilty of some poor decision making and poor physicality.

19. Rachid Bouhenna – A solid showing and like Frans he was unlucky to go off injured after a nasty head knock.

13. Morgaro Gomis – Made a positive difference with some good possession and vision in the midfield.

Man of the Match – If Safranko was given the opportunity to stay on then he would have been in the running for this but Neilson took him off and it changed the whole dynamic of the team. The other two nominees would be Harkes and Robson but given his assist and his rise to being our first-choice left back at the moment I would maybe go for Jamie Robson.

Up Next – A big, big few days for the club as we face Inverness across two fixtures, both at home. With a full Championship card on Tuesday it will be another 90 minutes of hoping for a United win but also for refreshing your phones as we hope that Ayr can do us a favour against County. It is a must win for us.

After that we have Inverness again on Sunday in the Scottish Cup. This is a chance to get to Hampden and hopefully we can get a win on Tuesday to build the mood ahead of the cup tie on Sunday. Two wins in a week will be huge for the club.

Championship Results –

Inverness 1 – 0 Greenock Morton

Ayr United 0 – 1 Dunfermline Athletic

Falkirk 1 – 1 Dundee United

Partick 2 – 4 Ross County

Queen of the South 1 – 2 Alloa