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Report: St Mirren 0-0 Falkirk


Report: St Mirren 0-0 Falkirk
By Alan Gallacher at the Paisley 2021 Stadium
HONOURS even as Saints showed more improving defensive resoluteness to blunt the attacking edge of promotion chasing Falkirk as the first day of spring was heralded in with an icy stalemate. Had we had a little more composure in the final third St Mirren would have taken the points, and what’s more, deserved them without a shadow of doubt, which can only be encouraging.
The first half was something of a slow-burner with neither team coming out the blocks particularly well or able to seize the early initiative. Saints, with Jordan Stewart in for Kyle McAllister, never got behind the visiting defence, but kept Falkirk at arm’s length quite comfortably.
Slowly Alex Rae’s men burrowed their way into the game for the final twenty-minutes of the first half. Stewart could have, and probably should have had the Buddies ahead just shy of the half hour, however the youngster rifled his low shot inches wide of the far post having found acres round the blindside of the Bairns rearguard.
The chances kept on coming for Saints. Rogers dived at the feet of Lawrence Shankland, Stevie Mallan fired over and Calum Gallagher dragged a great chance wide of the far post following a deft set-up from Shankland.
Most contentious moment of the half, and indeed the game, arrived on 42 minutes with most inside the stadium feeling referee Euan Anderson had dropped a clanger when David Clarkson looked for all the word to be tugged and yanked to the ground in full view of the whistler and Main Stand assistant. Both managers had very different takes on the incident, but it looked a cast iron shout, anywhere else on the pitch and it is a foul.
Half-Time: St Mirren 0-0 Falkirk
There was further officiating controversy immediately after the break, Clarkson turned his shot past Rogers only to see the other assistant raise his flag to rule it out. Hard to call from the vantage point of the press area, but at first glance it looked tight.
It had been and continued to be all Saints with Falkirk surviving through luck more than judgement at times. Quite how Luke Leahy managed to smuggle the ball off the line with the aid of his backside as he and Shankland contested a Stewart centre is something nobody could explain at the time or after the game.
Falkirk worked their way into the game and created a few openings of their own. Craig Sibbald smashed against the bar then headed an even better chances inches wide seconds later and Leahy pushed a weak unmarked header into the grateful arms of Langfield.
As full-time neared it continued to be Saints who pushed harder, although it was fairly end to end. Gallagher could have won it at the death, but Rogers did well to both get down to his shot and hold onto it.
Not a classic, but way more positives than negatives. St Mirren have become hard to beat, which for the time is a massive step in the right direction.
Full-Time: St Mirren 0-0 Falkirk
St Mirren: Langfield, Webster, Mallan, Baird, Watson, Gallagher, Clarkson (Thompson 82), Shankland, Quinn, Irvine, Stewart (Gow 79).
Subs Not Used: Goodwin, Howieson, Agnew, McAllister, Wilks (GK).
Falkirk: Rogers, Leahy, Muirhead, Vaulks, Taiwo (Hippolyte 58), Alston, Baird (McHugh 75), Sibbald, Kerr, Miller (O’Hara 90), Watson.
Subs Not Used: McCracken, Smith, McCann, Mehmet (GK).
Referee: Euan Anderson.
Assistant Referee: Stephen Mitchell.
Assistant Referee: Paul O’Neill.
Attendance: 2,321 (TBC Falkirk fans)
Match report pictures by Allan Picken – © Allan Picken Photography.
Match Gallery Pictures © John Millar.

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