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Falkirk v Hamilton Academical

cinch League 1
Saturday 17th February 2024 
3pm at Falkirk Stadium

Falkirk 3 Hamilton 2

This weekend we took on Falkirk as we aimed to pick up three points away from home. Boss John Rankin made two changes to the starting XI with Rose and Redfern coming in for Hastie and Tumilty. This change allowed Rose to make his first start for the club. Rankin also made a slight change to the formation and opted for a 4-4-2.

The first half proved to be a real challenge for us against a ruthless and relentless Falkirk team. Falkirk had the bulk of possession and punished us with three very quick goals, although we did manage to reduce the deficit marginally before half time.

We thought we had opened the scoring within two minutes when Macdonald slipped in O’Hara, but his shot was an easy save for the ‘keeper.

Falkirk had an excellent opportunity four minutes later when Calvin Miller’s shot from 20 yards out dipped awkwardly but Smith managed to tip it onto the post. A great opportunity for the hosts to pull ahead.

Falkirk opened the scoring in the 15th minute when MacIver laid the ball back to the edge of the area and straight into the path of in form Morrison who smashed the ball into the top corner, giving the hosts a deserved lead. 1-0.

Just seven minutes later, the hosts were gifted their second of the afternoon. Nesbitt’s shot looked an easy save for Smith, but he couldn’t hold onto the ball, which allowed MacIver to pounce and poke the ball into the net. 2-0.

The hosts were quick once again to find the net and gained their third of the afternoon in the 26th minute. Yeats’ cross found the head of Miller who looped the ball over Smith and into the back of the net. 3-0.

We managed to muster a response before half time through Rose who, in the 32nd minute, netted his second for us. Davidson slipped in Rose who took the ball wide and slotted it into the net. 3-1.

Even though we were trailing at half time, we did begin to build a bit of momentum before the whistle. We had to keep this momentum going in order to take the game to Falkirk and find two goals to draw level.

We got off to a quick start with a series of corners that built up a bit of excitement for our fans.

In the 56th minute we gave our fans something to get excited about when Barjonas’ corner found Rose who had risen highest in the box and headed it into the net. 3-2.

Just two minutes later O’Hara thought he had drawn us level with his spectacular effort at goal. The ball was knocked down into his path and from just five yards out he attempted an overhead kick which prompted a save from Hogarth to deny him the equaliser.

The remainder of the game became a bit scrappy with neither team being able to take the opportunity to score.

The final clear-cut chance of the afternoon came for Falkirk in the 87th minute, when Morrison held up a cross which fell to Spencer who had to watch his shot fire wide. A great opportunity to kill the game off.

Despite our great show of character and determination we suffered another heart-breaking defeat, but we can’t dwell on what happened as we must look to next weekend against Alloa at home, where we aim to take three points from the visitors.

Post-match a downcast John Rankin stated: “The game swings for me when their shot comes off the post and we didn’t respond to that…and how we react to that to concede three goals in 11 minutes is really poor.

“At three- nil it’s easy to respond as you need personalities when its nil- nil. At that point Ahkeem has a great finish then in the second half we really turned up the heat.”

Rankin also spoke of the points gap between us and Falkirk: “ We aren’t in a great position now, as we are a good few points behind Falkirk, and it needs to take big swing but that won’t stop us continuing to work hard and see how much we can pump up the heat on them.”

Falkirk: Hogarth (GK), Lang, McCann, Henderson (Tait 62), Donaldson, Morrison (Agyeman 90), Spencer, Nesbitt (Oliver 83), Yeats, MacIver, Miller (Ross 83).

Unused Subs: Long (GK), McGinn, Shanley, Bisland, Mackie.

Accies: J Smith (GK), Longridge, Kilday, Barjonas (L Smith 67), O’Hara, Rose (Hastie 76), Redfern (Winter 76), Macdonald, McGowan (Henderson 88 ), Davidson, Owens.

Unused Subs: Lyness (GK), Murray, Tumilty, Kirk, Hendrie.

Referee- Colin Steven/ AR1- Andy Milne/ AR2- Scott Anderson

Attendance: 5756 (321 away)

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