Falkirk have extended their lead over Cove Rangers at the top of League One this afternoon to four points after a 2-1 win over Peterhead, with Bairns star Charlie Telfer catching the eye for the hosts.
After seeing management duo Lee Miller and David McCracken win the Manager of the Month prize, the table-toppers went into the game on the back of some solid league form, while the Blue Toon had won only two of their last five games, sitting seventh in the table pre-match.
The Bairns made two changes from the 4-0 League Cup loss to Rangers last weekend with Scott Mercer and Anton Dowds coming into the side
Despite seeing lots of early possession, the hosts couldn’t convert it into a lead on the scoreboard with the Peterhead keeper fairly quiet with Falkirk struggling to really create any dangerous chances.
Anton Dowds probably should made made it 1-0 with almost 20 minutes gone, racing on to a ball over the top and getting beyond the Blue Toon back-line before tamely firing his effort at Rae.
There was a definite feeling that the Bairns were going to really make the Peterhead defence work and Connor Sammon’s physicality posing all sorts of problems.
For all of Falkirk’s dominance, Jim McNally’s visitors passed up a golden chance of their own when MacKenzie was found umarked at a corner but sent his header miles over the bar.
The Bairns reacted almost immediately and opened the scoring as Blair Alston rounded off an excellent counter-attcking move to sweep the ball home and put his side in front.
Telfer showed fantastic energy and vision to drive forward from midfield and then pick out Alston just inside the area, with the former Hamilton and St. Johnstone star calmly fire the ball beyond Rae.
After falling behind, there was little signal that anything was going to change from Peterhead – at least until the break – and after keeping the deficit at 1-0 for the next 20 minutes, the Bairns looked to have finished the visitors off right on half time.
The impressive Telfer was again vital to the Bairns getting on the scoresheet, his defence-splitting pass sending Sammon clear and the veteran slotted home with the last action of the opening 45.
Half Time: Falkirk 2-0 Peterhead
A comfortable performance from The Bairns so far, who look good at the break thanks to Blair Alston and Conor Sammon's first half finishes. #COYB
— Falkirk FC (@FalkirkFC) December 5, 2020
Falkirk came within inches of adding a third goal just after the restart, Telfer again sparking an attack which saw Sean Kelly’s cross flash across goal before being put behind for a corner, with Rae forced into a last-gasp save to deny the hosts.
Miller and McCracken’s side looked almost certain to make it three before long through and Sammon was next to got close, drawing another strong stop from Rae before Callumn Morrison balloned the rebound high into the stand behind the goals
Peterhead’s best chance at getting back into the game fell just after, Conroy doing brilliantly to burst into the box, before squaring the ball to Cook who somehow managed to miss the target from a couple of yards out and let Falkirk off the hook.
Telfer’s afternoon was brought to a premature halt when he limped off hurt after a rough challenge from McCarthy, Aidan Connolly replacing the former Rangers kid after 65 minutes.
Rae was again back in action, pulling off a fantastic reaction stop to deny Dowds a third goal for the Bairns, and leave the home side still looking for the goal that would kill off the game completely as it entered the final fifteen minutes.
Falkirk could sense that Peterhead were very much on the ropes but Rae continued to pull of a string of solid saves to stop the league leaders extending their advantage and allow them to relax in the final stages.
The Bairns’ inability to grab a third clearly had some sort of effect on the Blue Toon as they clawed themselves back into the game and set up a nervy finale, as Cameron scored moments after coming off the bench.
Falkirk were able to see the win out though and Cove’s 2-1 reverse at home to Montrose sees the Bairns create some daylight at the top of the table.
Falkirk: Morrison; Mercer, Dixon, Hall, Kelly, Gomis (Todd 46′), Telfer (Connolly 65′), Alston, C Morrison, Sammon, Dowds (Leitch 78′)
Subs: Cantley, Durnan, Francis, Deveney, Laverty, Miller
Peterhead: Rae; Freeman, McKenzie (Lyle (70′), Brown, Bailey, Conroy, Fraser, Brown, McCarthy (Cameron 77′), Boyd, Cook,
Subs: Wilson, Kesson, Bakar