The origins of this derby appear uncertain even to those who have revelled in it for years, but there was no question over the presence of the usual ‘qualities’ associated with such fixtures. Amidst a raucous atmosphere, each flashpoint was cheered and jeered in equal measure.
When the dust settled, it was Falkirk who enjoyed the spoils and the bragging rights as they extended their unbeaten run against Dunfermline to seven matches.
Craig Sibbald, a born and bred Bairn, notched the key first goal in the first-half and Myles Hippolyte put the match beyond the Fifers’ reach early in the second period.
Though Farid El Alagui gave Dunfermline heart on his return to his old stomping ground, there was to be no dramatic finish to a game that pulsed with energy and excitement.
“I’m delighted with the result because the Falkirk-Dunfermline game is a huge thing for the Falkirk fans,” said home manager Peter Houston. “We started our preparations early and got into the players’ heads with regards to how much it means.
“I’ve been involved, way back to the 80s. I don’t know where it comes from, but it’s a big game. You love games with an atmosphere like that and I think we deserved the victory.”
Falkirk always looked sharper when allowed to break on their visitors and it was from one such attack that they took the lead in the 27th minute. John Baird’s delightful chipped pass was perfect for the rampaging Sibbald, whose poked shot nestled into the empty net.
When Hippolyte, pictured, cut in from his left wing to spear a drive into Murdoch’s bottom corner eight minutes into the second period, Falkirk were threatening to run away with it.
But they could not kill off their visitors and El Alagui accepted a deflected David Hopkirk shot before rounding Danny Rogers to roll in what proved to be only a late consolation for the Pars.
Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston complained: “We’re putting ourselves under pressure having to chase games just because we’re losing soft goals.”