Scottish Championship
Dunfermline2Falkirk0

Dunfermline Athletic 2-0 Falkirk

Dunfermline's Declan McManus (on ground) scores against Falkirk
Declan McManus (on ground) scored Dunfermline's second goal against Falkirk

Falkirk failed to give Rangers-bound assistant Jimmy Nicholl a winning send off as they fell to defeat by promotion-seeking Dunfermline Athletic.

Declan McManus had already tested Robbie Mutch before setting up Nicky Clark and the goalkeeper fumbled the striker's shot over the line.

Falkirk piled on the pressure thereafter, but Dunfermline struck again after the break.

Clark set up McManus to fire home and secure the three points.

It means Nicholl, who is also assistant to Michael O'Neill with Northern Ireland, will leave Paul Hartley's side with the Bairns languishing in second-bottom spot.

The Bairns had arrived at East End Park for what has become a local derby across the River Forth with a mood of positivity after recording their first win in 10 games since Hartley took charge by beating Queen of the South.

They were not only unbeaten in three games but had knocked the Pars out of the Challenge Cup in October before a league draw at Falkirk Stadium in November.

While Dunfermline sit fourth in the table, their weekend win over bottom-placed Brechin City was their first in six outings and ended a run of three straight defeats.

Falkirk manager Paul Hartley, technical director Alex Smith and assistant Jimmy Nicholl
Falkirk manager Paul Hartley and technical director Alex Smith are saying goodbye to Jimmy Nicholl

But it was the Fifers who came out on top in front of a healthy festive crowd of 7,100 to move to within a point of third-top Livingston.

Dunfermline had handed a debut to Lee Robinson, the former Queen of the South goalkeeper signed just in time to replace the injured Sean Murdoch.

And the 31-year-old produced a good stop to prevent Louis Longridge cancelling out Clark's opener just before the break.

Falkirk had also put three January signings straight into their side: former Partick Thistle midfielder Sean Welsh and two arrivals from Sunderland - defender Tommy Robson, who has signed a permanent contract, and on-line striker Andrew Nelson.

Welsh and Nelson were prominent as the Bairns looked to find a reply, but it was Dunfermline who found the net when McManus fired home within five minutes of the restart after good skill from Joe Cardle.

Winger Cardle was himself denied by a post, while Falkirk's Reghan Tumilty also found the woodwork late on as the visitors failed to score for the sixth time in seven matches.

Line-ups

Dunfermline

  • 25Robinson
  • 2Williamson
  • 4Mvoto
  • 6AshcroftBooked at 37mins
  • 14Talbot
  • 15Paton
  • 27Shiels
  • 8Wedderburn
  • 11CardleBooked at 61minsSubstituted forHigginbothamat 84'minutes
  • 9McManusSubstituted forRyanat 86'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 10Clark

Substitutes

  • 3Martin
  • 7Higginbotham
  • 16Ryan
  • 17Aird
  • 20Gill
  • 23Smith

Falkirk

  • 31Mutch
  • 4Muirhead
  • 5GrantSubstituted forHarrisat 64'minutes
  • 3McGhee
  • 16TumiltyBooked at 9mins
  • 7TaiwoSubstituted forLoyat 64'minutes
  • 10Sibbald
  • 45Welsh
  • 42Robson
  • 14Longridge
  • 43NelsonBooked at 55mins

Substitutes

  • 1Thomson
  • 2Kidd
  • 17Harris
  • 24Blues
  • 28Craigen
  • 33Loy
  • 44Watson
Referee:
William Collum
Attendance:
7,140

Match Stats

Home TeamDunfermlineAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home13
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home13
Away13

Live Text

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1St Mirren20133438231542
2Dundee Utd19123429171239
3Livingston188642923630
4Dunfermline1985636241229
5Morton187652619727
6Queen of Sth197663227527
7Inverness CT196672222024
8Dumbarton194871525-1020
9Falkirk182881229-1714
10Brechin1903161545-303
View full Scottish Championship table

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