Monday Verdict: Focus on the Bairns and job’s a good one

He was purely focussed on his own team, but Ray McKinnon, and the assembled press pack, didn’t realise the irony in his statement.

“Everyone is fighting for something in this league,” he said after Friday night’s 1-1 draw. Just yards away from the Morton pitch, outside the ground and unbeknownst to those inside, was a disturbance with traffic cones flying through the air.

But the Falkirk manager would never have known. He had only been focussed on what was going on inside the confines of Cappielow and on his own team. Not even on the vitriol which continued to be directed his way from the stands over his move six months ago.

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And focussing on his team sheds a much kinder light than the overall league table does.

Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.

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It took a battling performance, depleted by Paul Dixon’ slightly harsh sending off, but Falkirk prevailed with a point and an extension to their unbeaten start to 2019.

The feelgood factor is around Falkirk at the moment and rightly so. They are the form team in Scottish football’s second tier, make no bones about that.

Excluding all others, since the bells brought in 2019 and the Rayvolution kicked into gear things have been looking up for the Bairns. It’s only when you look at the league table as a whole does the shine look less bright.

Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.

MATCH REPORT: Morton 1 Falkirk 1

But a point from Cappielow, from the one-time league leaders and form team under McKinnon at the start of the season, lifted Falkirk clear of all relegation trouble – on goal difference.

They had to dig in for it on Friday night in front of the BBC Scotland cameras though, and they’ll have to do the same tomorrow again – and without Dixon who was sent off with half an hour to go of a fiercely contested match, but not an ill-tempered one.

It was harsh, but the challenges necessary as Greg Kiltie and Reece Lyon threatened a Bairns backline that creaked slightly under the home side’s pressure.

Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED: Morton 1 Falkirk 1 - through Michael Gillen’s lensHe’ll be a miss, he was for the remaining half hour, but Falkirk hunkered down and held on for the point which makes the overall picture look a little brighter, and feelgood factor over the team’s the progress continues.

After Kiltie had danced by the Falkirk defence and stabbed Morton ahead Dixon laid on Zak Rudden for a diving header – in the right place at the right time, again.

Though that feelgood factor boiled over a little too much. Fans poured onto the pitch to celebrate a 40th minute equaliser.

Yes there’s cause for much celebration at the moment – and you can’t begrudge the fans after two years of misery, but the time and the place wasn’t right and Rudden told them so as he ushered the Bairns supporters back off the pitch.

Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.

Eighth placed team, 40th minute goal to level matters. Hardly season defining. There’s a lot still to be done before proper celebrations can take place.

But looking at it in isolation, it was a great goal for Falkirk. To extend the run, to move up the league.

Focussing on themselves is all they can do now and if they do their jobs from now on, survival and real celebration, is in sight.

FANS VIEWS: Morton 1 Falkirk 1

Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.
Morton 1 Falkirk 1. Pictures Michael Gillen.