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    St Mirren


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    Inverness CT





Falkirk Stadium, Scotland

Attendance: 4490

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Falkirk 0-0 Gretna

Falkirk suffered a hangover from their failure to secure a top-six finish as they failed to break down the resistance of relegated Gretna, who hung on for a goalless draw.

In a poor Clydesdale Bank Premier League match which had all the hallmarks of an end-of-season encounter, the Bairns were the dominant force.

But they could not conjure a winning goal and Gretna goalkeeper Greg Fleming was in inspired form to earn his embattled team a point.

Fleming was especially impressive during a late flurry from John Hughes' men, but Gretna also had their chances and could have notched a first win since going into administration.

Falkirk's record shows they have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine matches but they have now not scored at home since mid-February.

Hughes made four changes to the side beaten at Aberdeen almost a fortnight ago, a result which condemned the Bairns to a bottom-half finish.

Robert Olejnik, Russell Latapy, Patrick Cregg and Carl Finnigan all dropped to the bench, with on-loan Shane Supple - making his debut in goal - Arnau Riera, Michael Higdon and Pedro Moutinho coming in.

Gretna were without captain Paul Murray after he broke a rib and Nicky Deverdics deputised in midfield.

In the windy conditions, both sides faced a challenge and the early minutes were littered with poor passes.

The low-key action was initially livened by Moutinho's claim for a penalty in the seventh minute, but referee Steve O'Reilly waved away his plea after what the Falkirk man claimed was a shove by Rhys Meynell.

At the other end, Gavin Skelton tried his luck from distance, but his left-footed effort drifted well wide.

Falkirk slowly began to find their passing game and the first real opening fell to Higdon after 19 minutes.

Thomas Scobbie curled in a cross from the left, but fit-again Higdon - making his first start since January 5 after a knee injury - headed over under pressure.

Scotland Under-21 midfielder Scott Arfield then darted in from the left and saw an angled strike deflected wide.

Gretna posed their first serious threat after 26 minutes, with Jack Ross blocking Kyle Naughton's effort after the makeshift striker found room in the penalty area.

The ball eventually broke back to Abdul Osman on the 18-yard line, but his shot was deflected off target.

Five minutes later Falkirk responded and probably should have taken the lead.

Graham Barrett burst through on goal and laid the ball off to Moutinho as Fleming committed himself.

An opening goal was on the cards, but Meynell did brilliantly to block on his six-yard line before Gretna eventually cleared.

It had been a scrappy, disappointing affair, yet Deverdics almost lifted the gloom when he neatly turned to send a sweet half-volley straight at on-loan Ipswich youngster Supple from 12 yards.

With the wind continuing to blow in the second half, ball control remained difficult and neither team could create with any real control.

The first shot of the half cam in the 55th minute as Arfield blazed over from around 20 yards.

Home fans had become disgruntled, but they were almost on their feet after 64 minutes as a moment of class lit up the match.

Barrett turned superbly from 16 yards and his sweeping shot looked destined for the top right corner until Fleming tipped over. From the resultant corner, Higdon shot wide from five yards.

Hughes had seen enough, withdrawing Barrett and Higdon as their fellow strikers Billy Clarke and Finnigan came on.

While the visitors' shortcomings in attack were evident, Falkirk upped the tempo and Fleming did well to parry at his near post from Scobbie's close-range strike.

However, a menacing rare attack from Gretna almost yielded the opener in the 71st minute.

Osman broke down the right and his cut-back was perfect for Ben Wilkinson, but the youngster turned the ball wide of the near post.

As chances began to flow, Fleming again came to Gretna's rescue when he pushed away Moutinho's free-kick.

Latapy came on for the final 16 minutes - replacing Scobbie - before Finnigan made a strong appeal for a penalty when he fell over under pressure from Craig Barr.

Lone Gretna striker Naughton then had a glorious opportunity to net when he broke clear, only for Supple to push his drive away for a corner.

Moutinho quickly replied, but his stinging shot was beaten away by Fleming.

Referee O'Reilly was at the centre of controversy with six minutes left as Finnigan again claimed for a spot-kick after he was felled by Rostyn Griffiths.

But while O'Reilly booked the defender, he only awarded a free-kick on the 18-yard line and Latapy curled his shot over.

Kevin McBride came even closer when he drove inches past as Falkirk sought the elusive winner, before Fleming again denied Moutinho.

Scoring Summary

  • Falkirk
  • Gretna

Match Stats

  • Falkirk
  • Gretna
15(7) Shots (on goal) 5(3)
16 Fouls 13
8 Corner kicks 6
8 Offsides 2
56% Time of Possession 44%
0 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
5 Saves 8


  • Falkirk
  • Gretna
Yellow Cards