After their recent, dramatic last-gasp defeat by Hibs, Peter Houston conceded Falkirk had given themselves too much ground to make up in the title race. He remains unwilling to change his tune, despite this victory which, coupled with the Easter Road side again failing to win, left them a chink of light left to aim for at the summit.
The Bairns had substitute Lee Miller to thank for winning them a priceless three points, made all the sweeter by results elsewhere. They moved into second but, with only five matches remaining, are still a daunting nine points adrift of the league leaders. At the very least, though, they have strengthened their claim for the runners-up spot that would ensure they face two games fewer in the play-offs.
“It was lovely to hear when I came back into the dressing room that Morton and Dundee United both lost. It’s a bonus,” admitted Houston. “If I’m being honest, I think Hibs will see it through. We’ve got tough, tough fixtures and it’s Hibs’ to lose.
“What I’m concentrating on is making sure we finish as high as we possibly can. We’re striving to finish in second and we’re more than capable.”
This was a match that was not without opportunities for both sides and the only one that was converted won it for Falkirk. Substitute James Craigen laid the ball back for full-back Lewis Kidd and his cross was nodded in by Miller.
Referee Nick Walsh frustrated both sides, as did the crossbar, which denied Raith defender Craig Barr after just nine minutes and Falkirk striker Bob McHugh 18 minutes into second period.
However, Rovers manager John Hughes pinpointed a familiar failing that left his team in eighth place and just two points above second-bottom Ayr United. “We don’t put our bodies on the line to stop crosses,” he moaned, “and if enough come into the box then eventually one of them is going to go in.”