MONDAY VERDICT: Bairns point positive despite results elsewhere

It was far from pretty, and even further from exciting, but Falkirk picked up what could be a crucial point in their fight to survive with a stalemate at Inverness on Saturday.

This windy March afternoon in the capital of the Highlands should be looked back on at the end of the season and remembered for a point that took the Bairns ever closer to Championship safety.

The only thing standing in the way of that is the competition.

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Ray McKinnon and captain Jordan McGhee both spoke to the press post-match and said it was a point that they would have taken before kick-off – understandable, given the opposition were an Inverness side who have a Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden coming up and sit comfortably inside the play-off places in the league.

Ciaran McKenna and Jordan McGhee thank the 380 Bairns

Unfortunately, that point didn’t stop Falkirk fans from the disappointment of the rest of the bottom four picking up wins that were crucial and unlikely in equal measure.

Bottom place Alloa won at home against leaders Ross County, while Queen of the South ended a streak of seven defeats on the spin with a win at Dundee United. Partick Thistle’s rather more likely success at Greenock Morton didn’t hurt any less.

But, as McKinnon said, you can’t expect these teams to lose every week – it’s just an unfortunate that they all picked Saturday to win.

Falkirk might have won as well, however, and had their chances against Caley Thistle.

Shayne Lavery pokes one goalwards

Jordan McGhee’s long free-kick into the box on 37 minutes was flicked on by Davis Keillor-Dunn, on loan from Inverness’ rivals Ross County, but not with enough purpose.

Ian McShane fired just wide before the break at the end of what was a fairly bleak 45 minutes of football.

The second half was livlier and the first chance fell the way of Keillor-Dunn – his shot was blocked by Coll Donaldson after Kevin McHattie’s mistake had gifted the ball to McShane.

The game’s first shot on target arrived from the home side’s Aaron Doran on 56 minutes, and Harry Burgoyne had to be on his toes to keep the Irishman out a minute later as well.

Ian McShane fires in an effort

With Inverness turning up the pressure, Carl Tremarco nearly latched onto a Jordan White knockdown from the resultant corner.

Kevin McHattie flashed a volley just wide on 68 minutes, but the home side’s best opening came with just ten minutes to play.

A hurried overhead clearance from William Edjenguele only found Liam Polworth, who in turn fed Aaron Doran. Fortunately for Falkirk, Jordan McGhee was alive to the danger and cleared off the line with Burgoyne beaten by Doran – before Polworth’s rebound was blocked by a recovering Edjenguele.

The Bairns could have won the match in the second minute of stoppage time as Edjenguele knocked an Ian McShane corner into subsistite Shayne Lavery’s path – but the youngster couldn’t get enough on his poked finish to beat Mark Ridgers.

Goalless it finished. A fair reflection on the match, a fair result and a point that is better for Falkirk that it is for Caley Thistle.