Potential Pars Promotion Party In PeterheadDate: Monday, 10th Apr 2023
It was a massive 90 minutes of football at The Falkirk Stadium on Saturday, as John McGlynn`s men faced Dunfermline Athletic in SPFL cinch League One on Match-Day 31 for both sides. The Bairns knew a victory was vital if they were to realistically catch the Pars at the top of the division, with games running out fast.
It was the fourth occasion the rivals had met this campaign, with James McPake`s men taking 7 points out of a possible 9 so far. But, the home crowd were eager for this to change and this transmitted onto the pitch, with a scintillating start to the match by the hosts.
Their tempo early on – alongside their direct play – wasn`t their traditional style under the management of McGlynn and this caught Athletic cold, in the sun. Aidan Nesbitt latched onto a ball into the box from Callumn Morrison and the #10`s right-footed finish across Deniz Mehmet saw the visitors behind early on.
It was a really poor opening half-hour by the league leaders and this was proven when Falkirk doubled their lead; a snap-shot inside the area was palmed away by Mehmet but only into the path of the on-rushing Rumarn Burrell who tucked the ball home from close range to make it 2-0. The hosts were closing the gap at the top to 8 points with 15 to play for as things stood...
John McGlynn reflects on Saturday`s match with FalkirkTV
However, straight from kick-off, the men in Black & White showed why they are going to be officially crowned Champions over the coming days with a fighting spirit unrivalled within Scotland`s third-tier this term. The ball was worked down the left-hand side, finding Lewis McCann in space and in behind right-back Blaine Rowe: the attacker crossed it in for the on-rushing Craig Wighton to flick the ball over Brian Kinnear and into the back of the net for an instant response from the West Fifers, reducing the deficit back to one within a matter of moments.
And it wouldn`t take long for the Pars to get back onto level terms, as McCann once again went down the left-hand side, once again testing Coventry City loanee Rowe`s defensive capabilities... the #14 jinked inside before firing low to Kinnear`s near-post, catching out the West Ham United loanee and equalising for Dunfermline, with his 9th goal of the campaign.
Highlights: Falkirk 2-2 Dunfermline Athletic
It really should`ve been 3-2 to the visitors in the craziest of turnarounds prior the break, but Matty Todd just didn`t get enough on his effort, again following good work down the left-hand side by DAFC, to find the target. After the interval, it was a competitive but fairly uneventful contest, with McPake`s men settling for a point which keeps their 11-point lead at the top of the league while Falkirk have merely accepted defeat in their chase to be Champions with only 5 games to go now.
So, the Pars can tie things up with a victory over Peterhead on Tuesday evening – coupled with a draw or a loss for Falkirk against Montrose at Links Park. The Blue Toon are onto their 4th management team of the campaign, with experienced campaigners Ryan Strachan and Jordon Brown taking over as caretaker player-managers until the summer. And they managed to lead their side to a rare win at the weekend, defeating FC Edinburgh 1-0 at Balmoor, meaning a victory in their catch-up match this midweek would take them above Clyde into 9th as the battle to avoid automatic relegation intensifies.
It won`t be an easy game, but with an expectation of a large travelling support going up north for Match-Day 32, the Pars will still go into the game as heavy favourites. And it is Dunfermline Athletic supporter Chris Hamilton who knows more than anyone just how special a night Tuesday could be, if a return to the SPFL cinch Championship is secured at the first time of asking.
Chris Hamilton speaks to Jordan Burt of ParsTV