Monday verdict: A wake up call for awful Falkirk

More than 1500 Falkirk fans turned up to Broadwood on Saturday but it was a shame that the team failed to do so.
Mitchell denies Buchanan with a header (picture: Michael Gillen)Mitchell denies Buchanan with a header (picture: Michael Gillen)
Mitchell denies Buchanan with a header (picture: Michael Gillen)

That was the general feeling amongst the Falkirk faithful after watching this dreary display and who could blame them.

It was an insipid and uninspiring performance and Falkirk got what they probably deserved as they laboured to a 1-0 defeat at newly promoted Clyde in League One.

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Falkirk fans have backed their team to the hilt, despite everything that’s gone on over the past few seasons and once again they were let down – and there can only be so much more of that before fans say they have had enough.

Because if you can’t figure out how to beat a part-time team who were playing League Two last season – no disrespect to Clyde – then you’ve got problems and that must be of concern.

The centre back Craig Howie played for East Kilbride last season, Scott Rumsby was at Cowdenbeath before his move to the Bully Wee in 2018, together with former released Bairns goalkeeper David Mitchell – who made a great save to deny Declan McManus a late leveller – Ray Grant, and Hearts loanee Alex Petkov, they completely nullified the Falkirk threat.

This was nothing new that Falkirk hadn’t come up against before, but perhaps worryingly they had no idea how to break down a team that had shipped nine goals in three games – a watertight defence it was not.

And even more infuriating for fans was that Falkirk boss Ray McKinnon warned his team beforehand.

He said: “We need to take the game to them, break them down and create overloads. If we play in front of them then you can play all day and not score.”

And yet that’s exactly what unfolded during a underwhelming 90 minutes.

As so often will be the case this season Falkirk will be expected to come up with the answers to a team that sits in and squeezes the space. The evidence would so far suggest they are still searching for that solution.

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A stalemate with Peterhead, a narrow victory over Montrose, which barring Conor Sammon’s fortuitous winner would have been another draw, and defeat on Saturday. The 6-0 Dumbarton victory showed the importance of an early first goal after which they zipped the ball about with pace and purpose, but it was the antithesis of this performance against Clyde.

They were ponderous and pedestrian in possession, there was no good link up, movement, pace or urgency – all the things needed to try and unsettle a rigid backline. No imagination, no creativity, no spark and in the end it was Mark Lamont’s 34th minute strike which was the difference.

It’s a wake up call for Falkirk, a team expected to win this league with something left to spare, but more performances like this and they will fall far short of those expectations.