Gary Holt’s first game back in charge of Falkirk ended in a frustrating draw with promotion rivals Cove Rangers, who will feel disappointed not to have won the game.
Cove looked the more dangerous of the sides, particularly in the second half, hitting the woodwork twice, as well as having a penalty saved.
A draw suits neither team, with both sides now trailing league leaders Partick Thistle by four points, in the first fixture of the league split.
Both Falkirk and Cove play Partick in their next fixture – so hopes of winning the league are not totally over – but it seems likely now that Falkirk and Cove will be resigned to play-offs in a couple of weeks’ time.
Play-off showdown looks likely for Falkirk and Cove
After the match, interim Falkirk boss Gary Holt admitted that promotion this season may now have to be through the play-offs. Cove, who sit in third, are in the same boat.
There is still a chance that either side may win the league, but it is now most likely that Partick will be champions.
This sets up a second vs third play-off semi-final between the Falkirk and Cove – a tie with the potential for fireworks.
Clearly there isn’t much to separate the teams, and with Falkirk expecting injured players to return it will be a fiery affair if it is to happen. It would take a brave soul to bet on the outcome of this one.
Morrison the main man
Nothing new here – Falkirk are completely reliant on winger Callumn Morrison for creativity and goals. Morrison scored the first goal of the game with a well-taken penalty and was a constant threat throughout.
It was clear from the start that Falkirk’s game plan was to give Callumn Morrison the ball and let him create magic. He actually should have scored just two minutes in, but instead of slotting home, he lobbed the ball helplessly over.
Nevertheless, most of Falkirk’s attacking play came through the former Hearts man – and Bairns fans will be hoping and praying that he can remain fit for Falkirk’s remaining games.
The Gary Holt effect
Gary Holt has a habit of taking over Falkirk at challenging times. In his first spell at the club his first game was the infamous Scottish Cup semi-final loss against Hibs. This game, while not as exciting, was just as challenging for Holt.
There were clear signs of his influence on the Falkirk team in this game. Firstly, they were far more organised – particularly going forward. Conor Sammon was the clear focal point in attack and was tasked to feed the ball into Callumn Morrison.
In fact, Falkirk were set up completely to play to the strengths of Morrison. Kai Fotheringham and Robbie Leitch, who played alongside Morrison, were full of effort and endeavour, while offering nothing in attack – but supported the main man well.
Blair Alston and Gary Miller provided a solid base too, and it looks like Holt wants as much solidity in the midfield as possible to counteract the inexperience of players like Kai Fotheringham, Lewis Neilson and Kyle McClelland.
Mitch Megginson is the best striker in League One
He may be a part-time player, but Mitch Megginson is the best forward in the league, and is almost certain to be top goal scorer.
Sitting on 12 goals in 16 games, the Cove captain was unlucky not to see his name on the scoresheet more than once in this game. After seeing a drilled effort hit the post in the first half, Megginson finally got his goal on 76 minutes through a spectacular individual effort. It was a goal that deserved to win a match, so the striker will be gutted that it was only worth a point in the end.
Megginson is vital to Cove and will be key to their push for promotion over the next few weeks. If he can keep firing in the goals, he may pull Cove up to the Championship for the first time in their history.
Featured Image Credit: Falkirk Herald
4th Year Journalism Studies and Politics Student at Stirling University. Sports Editor. Bylines in Brig Newspaper and The Oban Times
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