Scottish Championship
DumbartonDumbarton0FalkirkFalkirk3
By Andrew SouthwickBBC Scotland

Falkirk ensured they did not lose ground on the race for a play-off place with a Championship win at Dumbarton.

In a dominant first half they pinned their hosts back for long spells, but at half time had just the Rory Loy goal to show for it.

Their impotency up front could have cost them with Dumbarton having the better of the second half.

However, eventually the Bairns found their touch with Blair Alston and Craig Sibbald adding late goals.

The win sees Peter Houston's men close the gap on fourth-placed Queen of the South to two points, with the Dumfries side losing at home to Cowdenbeath earlier in the day.

It is also a fifth success in a row for Falkirk as they begin to find the form many expected from them at the start of the season.

It was a storming start from the visitors, who had almost constant pressure in the opening stages, and after Botti Biabi saw a turn and shot saved the Bairns were soon in front.

Alston struggled to keep hold of the ball but a series of poor challenges failed to rob him of possession.

It was comical defending from Ian Murray's men and Alston took advantage, slipping the ball through to Loy who clinically picked his spot in the far corner.

Luck, though, was on Dumbarton's side as Falkirk failed to make it 2-0 moments later. The corner looked to be directed towards goal by a Dumbarton boot, but Mitch Megginson was able to react quickly and scramble off the line.

Biabi twice went close as a shell shocked Dumbarton struggled under the exhaustive pressure.

Sons goalkeeper Danny Rogers pushed wide efforts from Will Vaulks and Loy, with Alston also curling wide of the post.

The only plus for the home side was that they remained just one goal behind, as

Sibbald and Loy threatened with further chances.

The fear for the visitors was despite their dominance Dumbarton were always a threat on the break, and when Chris Kane robbed Luke Leahy on the touchline and picked out Steven McDougall the ball was put just wide of the right hand post.

Garry Fleming almost directed a Kane cross into the net as the Sons finished the half with a flurry.

Somehow, Dumbarton were still in the game, and they should have been level on the hour mark.

Jamie MacDonald fumbled the ball into the path of Scott Agnew, and he steered it towards the corner only for Leahy to clear off the line.

Fleming volleyed wide as all of a sudden it was Falkirk doing the defending.

Kane was the catalyst for most of the attacking play and he cut inside and thumped a shot goal-wards only to see it rattle off the back of Grant and wide, before he failed to connect cleanly with a left footed shot minutes later.

Falkirk, though, soaked up the pressure and hit Dumbarton with a late sucker punch.

Sibbald took the ball inside from the right, played a short ball to Loy who flicked the ball into the path of Alston, who knocked the ball past Rogers.

Falkirk had found their touch, and it was 3-0 when Sibbald stroked the ball into the net following a sweeping passing move.

Dumbarton never stopped plugging away as they looked for a consolation, but MacDonald remained largely untroubled in the Falkirk goal as they fell nine points off the promotion places.

Line-ups

Dumbarton

  • 1Rogers
  • 2van ZantenSubstituted forCampbellat 82'minutes
  • 4Graham
  • 12Taggart
  • 22MacDonald
  • 14Fleming
  • 8AgnewBooked at 71mins
  • 18McDougallSubstituted forTurnerat 45'minutesBooked at 54mins
  • 10MegginsonSubstituted forLintonat 86'minutes
  • 23Kane
  • 9Nish

Substitutes

  • 3Linton
  • 5Mair
  • 6Turner
  • 17Murray
  • 19Ewings
  • 20Campbell

Falkirk

  • 1MacDonald
  • 2Duffie
  • 5McCracken
  • 14Grant
  • 19Leahy
  • 7Taiwo
  • 6Vaulks
  • 10Sibbald
  • 8AlstonSubstituted forSmithat 90'minutes
  • 28Bia BiSubstituted forCooperat 69'minutes
  • 33LoySubstituted forShepherdat 90+1'minutes

Substitutes

  • 9Smith
  • 12Bowman
  • 15Dick
  • 16Grant
  • 17Maybury
  • 20Cooper
  • 23Shepherd
Referee:
Des Roache
Attendance:
663

Match Stats

Home TeamDumbartonAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home42%
Away58%
Shots
Home14
Away28
Shots on Target
Home6
Away13
Corners
Home8
Away9
Fouls
Home11
Away9

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Dumbarton 0, Falkirk 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Dumbarton 0, Falkirk 3.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Tom Taiwo (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  4. Post update

    Attempt missed. Christopher Kane (Dumbarton) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.

  5. Post update

    Christopher Kane (Dumbarton) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Kieran Duffie (Falkirk).

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Scott Shepherd replaces Rory Loy.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. David Smith replaces Blair Alston.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Craig Sibbald (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  10. Post update

    Archie Campbell (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Luke Leahy (Falkirk).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Scott Agnew (Dumbarton) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right from a direct free kick.

  13. Post update

    Christopher Kane (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by David McCracken (Falkirk).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Dumbarton. Scott Linton replaces Mitchel Megginson.

  16. Post update

    Chris Turner (Dumbarton) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Tom Taiwo (Falkirk).

  18. Goal!

    Goal! Dumbarton 0, Falkirk 3. Craig Sibbald (Falkirk) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Rory Loy.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Will Vaulks (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Dumbarton. Archie Campbell replaces David van Zanten.