Dumbarton 1 - 0 Falkirk: Campbell defeats Bairns

Archie Campbell''' netted a late winner. Picture: Neil Hanna

Archie Campbell''' netted a late winner. Picture: Neil Hanna

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FALKIRK squandered the chance to claim a top-four spot as a superb late strike from Archie Campbell claimed the points for Dumbarton.

The game, played in high winds, appeared to be heading for a stalemate until Campbell had the final say to earn the plaudits of his manager, Ian Murray, who said: “It was a fantastic strike by wee Archie. He has been flying in training and has forced his way into the team.

“I thought the players showed tremendous discipline to stick to the game plan and to restrict Falkirk to so few chances.

“We’re on a great run and it’s going to be hard for the teams below us to catch us, but Raith have been on a similar run to ourselves, so it’s also going to be hard for us to catch them.”

Both sides struggled to cope with the fiercely gusting wind and it took 14 minutes for the first attempt on goal, Luke Leahy’s speculative 35-yarder forcing a diving save from Danny Rogers in the home goal.

Dumbarton were struggling to get the ball out of their own half such was the strength of the wind in their faces.

They did manage a brief flurry around Falkirk’s box when Scott Agnew’s diagonal pass found Mark Gilhaney, who fired a yard over.

At the other end, Peter Grant met Blair Alston’s corner with a glancing header which flew just over.

Alston’s firm shot was held by Rogers before Craig Sibbald shot inches wide as the first half failed to yield a goal.

Falkirk threatened again on the restart as Leahy’s cross sparked a goalmouth scramble from which Sons only just emerged unscathed.

John Baird almost made the breakthrough with a rising 20-yard shot which Rogers was at full stretch to tip over.

The goalkeeper denied Baird again with an even better save as Falkirk stepped up a gear.

But the opener came at the other end when Campbell took possession 30 yards from goal and unleashed an unstoppable shot which soared high into the net.

Falkirk should have grabbed a point when Mark Kerr’s chip found Baird unmarked, but he headed straight at Rogers from six yards.

Falkirk manager Peter Houston said: “The elements made the first half a total non-event, but I feel desperately sorry for my players because I thought the best team lost. It took a wonder strike to win it.”

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