Played at The Falkirk Stadium on Tuesday, 4th September 2012 at 19:30
Falkirk v Stenhousemuir at Falkirk Stadium on 4.9.12
Stirlingshire Cup Semi-Final
Falkirk 3 [White 25,41, McGeever 87] Stenhousemuir 0
No matter the competition it is always good to get a win and progress to the final. Many thought that this would be the case in this Stirlingshire Cup semi-final tie at Falkirk Stadium. The Stenhousemuir side was more experienced than their Falkirk counterparts with all the substitutes from Saturday’s game against Forfar featuring. The rest of the side was made up from the players that will play in the reserve league this season.
Falkirk only fielded players from their Under 20s league side or even younger but their advantage over the Stenhousemuir reserves was at least they had a couple of games under their belts whilst Stenhousemuir have not played any proper matches yet.
The elder players in the Stenhousemuir ranks should have been able though to impose themselves on the opposition but this scenario never looked like happening and instead only emphasised why they are not starting for the first eleven. In the main it was an abject performance with Falkirk gifted a three nil victory without having to play that well themselves though it has to be said they were far better than Stenhousemuir as they at least were able to pass the ball and create opening a feat that Stenhousemuir rarely managed to do themselves.
The biggest disappointment though for the Warriors was not that they were well beaten but that a number of the younger players failed to do themselves justice and thus would have gave a misleading impression of their capabilities as they can play far better than in this game. In fact it would not take much to improve on this display which would have been the first time that many of the supporters had seen them and first impressions would have certainly given them cause for concern.
Anyway back to the game for what it was worth. Falkirk should have taken the lead in the 11th minute but Dean Shaw denied Jordan White twice after the Falkirk striker had unlocked the offside trap and found himself with only the keeper to beat but Shaw who was the best Warrior on the night managed a fine double save. He was unable to stop White scoring in the 25th minute when he headed home a Liam Rowan cross. Stenhousemuir only came close to emulating White’s effort when Tyler Fulton gave the ball away and Andy Rodgers saw a shot cleared for a corner two minutes later but that was the only time that Stenhousemuir did something positive in the first half. Falkirk extended their lead in the 41st minute when Conor McGrandles got the better of Charles Docherty before picking out the unmarked White with a precise pass that seemed to hit White and go in rather than be put in by the strikers own efforts. Shaw came to the rescue just after this to keep the score down when he tipped a Luke Leahy strike over the bar.
Stenhousemuir did improve slightly after the resumption as they game began at a slightly higher tempo and they were given a chance to reduce the deficit in the 51st minute when referee Andrew Dallas awarded them a penalty after a pull by Rowan on Jack Taylor. Darren Smith took the spot kick but it was saved low down by Graham Bowman.
Stenhousemuir’s best spell in the game came when more of the younger players replaced some of the older ones and there was more energy in the team. Eventually however they were also caught up in the malaise. Falkirk rarely threatened either and the game looked as if it was going to meander to its conclusion without incident until Ryan McGeever had an effort disallowed for a perceived infringement. This stirred Alex Smith the Falkirk coach [ex –Stenhousemuir manager 1969-74] and he was spoken to by Mr Dallas for his comments. McGeever who was the losing captain for Queens Park when Stenhousemuir were victorious in the Under 19 League Cup final in May did eventually get his name on the score sheet in the 87th minute when he fired in at the back post after being picked out by a Kyle Turnbull cross.
Thus Falkirk go into the final as 3-0 victors and no one on the day could complain that it was not deserved.
Falkirk – Bowman, Rowan, Dick, T.Fulton [Turnbull 68], McGeever, Comrie, Brisbane [Grant 82], Faulds, White, Leahy [Small 86] and McGrandles. Subs not used – Greene and Amos
Stenhousemuir – Shaw, Hamilton, Lawson, O’Grady [Somers] 65, Docherty, Brash, C.Anderson, Rodgers [A.Thomson 68], Love, Taylor and Smith [K.Anderson 54]. Subs not used – Kelly and Duncan
Referee – Andrew Dallas Assistants – Brian McGarry and David Cockburn