Clyde made the short journey from Cumbernauld to take on Falkirk in the cinch League One this afternoon as both sides looked to strengthen their early title credentials and it was the Bairns who came out on top, winning 3-0 in a hard-fought encounter.
The Bairns have started the new season strongly under new manager Paul Sheerin and probably should have found themselves in front five minutes when an excellent ball inside the Clyde right-back and central defender sent Craig McGuffie haring in behind.
Clyde keeper David Mitchell done well to keep out the resulting strike from Seb Ross to keep the scores level and avoid conceding an early opener.
After an initial flurry of chances, the game settled down a bit more as Falkirk tried to pick their way through holes in the Clyde lines while the visitors seemed content to wait for their opportunity to hit the Bairns on the break,
The Bully Wee slowly started to exert a bit more pressure and by the 25th minute the two sides were battling for control of the game with ex-Falkirk midfielder Mo Gomis finding himself more involved in proceedings.
Falkirk somehow managed to pass up several more chances before the break, Nesbitt missing the best of the lot when the ball fell to him a yard from goal but he failed to direct it into the back of the net.
The second 45 started in a similar vein to the first with Falkirk making the early chances but failing to do anything of note with them as frustration started to build around the Falkirk Stadium.
Ten minutes after the break, Falkirk finally took the lead as their patience paid off through a Paul Dixon strike – the defender’s third of the season so far.
The former Dundee and Dundee United defender did brilliantly to lash the ball home from 20 years after being allowed to drive forward by the Clyde midfield.
Soon after the opener, the Bairns had the chance to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot as Callumn Morrison celebrated signing a new contract earlier this week by sending Mitchell the wrong way and sealing the three points.
The second goal ended any resistance by Clyde and the Bairns made it 3-0 in stoppage time when Morrison scored his second of the afternoon and put a gloss on the win that Falkirk’s performance probably didn’t fully deserve.
Here are three things we learned as Falkirk and Clyde
‘Sheerin-ball’ is a big improvement for the Bairns – but it still needs work
While previous bosses Lee Miller and David McCracken tried to get their side playing decent football, Sheerin has really got his Falkirk players ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’ when it comes to his football philosophy.
Falkirk now look a much slicker outfit and, although they are still far from the finished article, the signs are promising that their stint in the third tier won’t last much longer.
Callumn Morrison, Charlie Telfer and Aidan Nesbitt are going to be crucial to Falkirk’s title hopes this season though and if Sheerin can keep all three fit while continuing to get the players buying into how he wants them to play, Falkirk will be among the top two in League One this season.
Bairns still lack a killer touch in the box
As much as Falkirk have improved recently, it is clear the Bairns still lack someone to really lead the line and get 15-20 goals a season. Irish striker Aidan Keena puts in plenty of effort but he’s simply not clinical enough infront of goal to be someone Falkirk can rely on.
With a host of new faces in the door and Falkirk finally getting their Academy sides back up and running, the answer could already be at the club – but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Falkirk try add one more new signing before the transfer window closes.
Mo Gomis summer transfer was the right move for both clubs
Gomis returned to his old club looking to get one over on the Bairns and it was clear that the decision for him to leave Falkirk – as well as hs subsequent arrival at Clyde – was the ideal move for everyone involved.
The veteran doesn’t look like he has the legs in him anymore to meet the high energy football expected by Sheerin, yet his vast experience is just what Clyde lack in the middle of the park.
His battle with former teammate Charlie Telfer was arguably the most interesting part of a fairly dull game as 3545 attendance (238 of them Clyde fans) watched on.
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