Falkirk 2 Dumbarton 1: Bairns go top

Blair Alston celebrates his goal. Picture: Michael Gillen
Blair Alston celebrates his goal. Picture: Michael Gillen
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THE belief that a full moon affects human behaviour gained some credibility last night as inexplicable defending by both teams was the overriding factor in the outcome of this match.

In the end, Falkirk emerged victorious as goals by Blair Alston and Craig Sibbald propelled Peter Houston’s side to the Championship summit until at least Sunday.

Darren Barr pulled one back for the visitors, with all the goals coming in the first half.

The moon’s light shone down on the Falkirk Stadium from behind the south stand for all of the first half, and it was in this period that both sets of dugouts were at a loss to explain the inept displays of their respective rearguards.

The visitors gave a debut to Frazer Wright following the veteran defender’s switch from St Johnstone, but the 35-year-old’s first outing in a Sons shirt got off to the worst possible start after Falkirk strolled into a two-goal lead after only 14 minutes.

Dumbarton manager Stevie Aitken had hoped that the arrival of his former Stranraer team-mate would add a calming presence to his rearguard but the hosts encountered little resistance on their way to carving out a commanding lead.

Alston opened the scoring inside five minutes when the Sons’ defence made a woeful attempt to clear David Smith’s low cross into the area.

After the ball pinballed around the area, Alston cracked a left-footed shot into the net off the underside of the bar.

Dumbarton’s philanthropy in their own box continued in the 14th minute when Sibbald scored an excellent goal.

After taking in Luke Leahy’s pass with his back to goal, Sibbald was allowed to turn inside and the midfielder curled a stunning free-kick into the top corner of the net.

But Falkirk showed that they also had a penchant for giving away soft goals as the Sons got a foothold in the game in the 27th minute when former Bairns defender Barr reduced their arrears.

Willie Gibson’s corner was headed back across goal by Gregor Buchanan and Barr rose above Peter Grant to nod the ball into the net.

Danny Rogers, who spent last season on loan at the Sons, preserved Falkirk’s narrow lead after the break when he first parried a stinging Kevin Cawley shot before collecting Grant Gallagher’s tame effort on the follow-up.