A table topping derby match at Falkirk Stadium was always going to be a big game. Jack Cameron had 14 players available for selection but quite a few notable abscences. Jude Connolly, Lucy Sullivan and Zoë Richard-Campbell were unavilable for the match day squad.
New signing Sarah Kelly was in the starting 11 to make her debut and Nimi Ahira was also in the starting 11 for the first time. Emma King was in goals while Paterson, Clare Wilson, Vickerman and Leah Jones made up the back line. Samantha Montgomery, Erin Wilson, Nimi Ahira and Eva Ralston made up the midfield while Sarah Kelly and Eirinn Maguire led the line.
The game got off to a fast start but niether team was able to really take hold. Both teams battled for the ball but niether could cut through the defense of the other. There was an occasional through ball which looked to cause issues but the keepers were out quick from both teams to gather.
Stenhousemuir won the first corner in the 17th minute and managed to float the ball in. It was knocked back out and found Vickerman who hit the first shot on target. It was a relatively ambitious effort and the keeper was able to comfortably collect.
On the 21st minute Nimi Ahira was hauled down on the edge of the box. Clare Wilson took the free kick and flashed it across the face of the goal but no one was able to get on the end of it.
Stenny kept up a sustained period of pressure, pushing Falkirk back into their own half but after a short water break the momentum shifted and Falkirk started to press.
Falkirk had the first real chance of the match after a chipped through ball lobbed over the head of Clare Wilson and found the feet of Wyatt. She then threaded it through to the striker, despite the Stenny appeals for offside, who managed to smash a shot off the cross bar.
The final chance of the half was a Stenny one as Montgomery got free down the right wing. She whipped in a cross which bounced around a few players before bouncing back to Montgomery in a more central position however she slashed her shot and it released the spell of pressure.
HALF TIME: Falkirk 0-0 Stenhousemuir
The second half started much like the first. An early cross from Roberts has the Stenny defense scrambling but no one in a Falkirk top is able to find the ball.
A few referee decisions raised some eyebrows with both sets of players making their concerns known. A free kick not given to Falkirk after a heavy tackle by Vickerman in particular had the Falkirk players up in arms but the ref correctly gave the throw in. Vickerman had clearly won the ball.
In the 65th minute Falkirk win a free kick ont he edge of the box. Its chipped in and finds the head of Wyatt who can only knock it off the crossbar before the Stenny defense scramble to get it clear.
A few moments later Wyatt chases down a through ball that is given as an offside but pulls up injured and goes to ground. The ref decides this is the best time to take a water break. Wyatt returns to the field but only last another couple of minutes before going down again and having to be replaced.
SUBSTITUTION: Carolanne Phee is brought on to replace Nimi Ahira prompting Leah Jones to move into the midfield.
The crowd begin to add some momentum to the Falkirk team as they find themselves getting more and more room to squeeze up the pitch.
A lobbed ball over Clare Wilson finds the foot of the Falkirk striker who turns and smashes it goalwards. Emma King pulls off a great save to keep the ball out, conceeding a corner. From the corner Falkirk start to pin Stenny in. They win another freekick on the edge but Vickerman gets it clear.
Falkirk begin to gather momentum as the game moved into its last 5 minutes, with a series of attacks which had more and more venom.
GOAL FALKIRK: A lobbed ball again finds Eva Rule as she runs in and finds the back of the net, despite Carolanne Phee making claims to the referee that she was having her shirt pulled and the various appeals about what looked at first glance to be an offside goal. FALKIRK 1-0 STENHOUSEMUIR [Rule 87 minutes}.
RED CARD: During the Falkirk celebrations Carolanne Phee utters her displeasure at the referee and is given a straight red card for insulting him while venting her frustration.
Down to 10 players and with only 3 minutes remaining, Falkirk sat back and used their player advantage to keep the ball in the Stenny half.
FULL TIME Falkirk 1-0 Stenhousemuir
|August 28, 2022||3:00 pm||SWF League One||2022/23||90'|