Queen of the South 0 - 2 Falkirk: Bairns rise to second

Falkirk leaped up to second-top spot in the Championship and closed the gap on Hibernian to six points, albeit having played a game more.

Lewis Kidd broke the deadlock

Bairns boss Peter Houston said: “It’s my first victory in the league at Palmerston since I came back to Falkirk. It is a notoriously difficult place to come. It was a very important result for us. It was our cup final in many ways to make sure it keeps us away from them.”

Queens’ home form of late has kept them on the periphery of the play-offs, with just one defeat at Palmerston in their last five since the start of December, and they almost took the lead after five minutes when Dom Thomas took a return pass down the left from Stephen Dobbie. His drilled effort was flicked on by striker Derek Lyle, but Peter Grant was on the line to block.

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Falkirk, who had failed to win in their previous five league trips to Dumfries, almost took the lead after nine minutes when Craig Sibbald then John Baird tried to force the ball over from close range but Scott Mercer got in a last-gasp goal-saving tackle.

It was a clash between arguably the two form teams of the Championship, with Queens having suffered just one defeat in seven, while the Bairns began the day unbeaten in their last seven league outings since the turn of the year. Sadly the quality on show for the majority of the first period didn’t match up.

The Bairns created a clutch of chances close to the break and the pressure paid off when Falkirk went in front in 44 minutes when Lewis Kidd curled a 19-yard free-kick round the wall and past a static Lee Robinson, to net against his former club.

Falkirk doubled their lead in 79 minutes when Andy Dowie sent Nathan Austin sprawling in the box and Sibbald dispatched the spot-kick beyond Robinson.

Queens boss Gary Naysmith said: “It was our worst performance since I took over, and another performance like that against Dunfermline on Tuesday night and we have no chance of making the play-offs.”