Stenhousemuir v Falkirk at Ochilview Park, Stenhousemuir on 31.7.13
Stirlingshire Cup First Round Att 331
Stenhousemuir 0 Falkirk 1 [Sibbald 10]
Stenhousemuir – Shaw, Duncan, Lawson [b69], Nimmo, Robertson [t][Armstrong h/t], Summers, Thomson [Davies 62], Docherty [b44], McNeil, Banks [Doherty h/t] and Kouider-Aissa. Subs not used – Stewart and McGregor.
Falkirk – Bowman [b81], Rowan, Blair, Comrie, McGeever [b88], Dick, Martin, Shepherd, Bia-Bi, Grant [McNab 67] and Sibbald [Brisbane 62]. Subs not used – T.Fulton, Hogg and McMinn
Referee – Barry Cook Assistants – Frank Connor and Paul O’Neil
It was two young sides that took the field for this Stirlingshire Cup tie and as such it was the first view of many players for the respective supports for the game that had been switched from Falkirk to Stenhousemuir whilst the artificial pitch was being laid.
Falkirk almost opened the scoring in the 6th minute when Dean Shaw was caught in possession as he tried to dribble with the ball and he was fortunate that Scott Liam Dick’s back heel was able to be gathered by the keeper. Stenhousemuir were struggling to keep possession in the early stages and it seemed inevitable when Falkirk opened the scoring in the 10th minute when Craig Sibbald shot home from 20 yards out. He was the most experienced player on the pitch having made more league appearances than the rest of the players from both sides put together so supporters forget that he turned 18 in May. The Warriors response was positive and a quicker Stenhousemuir move saw Andy Thomson release Salim Kouider-Aissa and his effort was parried out by Graham Bowman. Minutes later Ciaran Summers saw a decent effort also saved by the keeper.
Falkirk were unlucky not to extend their lead in the 21st minute when Ryan McGeever rattled the crossbar with a header as they continued to have the better of the play. Nevertheless the Warriors were not out of the game and Thomson and Kouider-Aissa combined to set up McNeil in the 31st minute but his effort struck the side netting. Falkirk ended the half the stronger though and Scott Shepherd saw an effort well saved by Dean Shaw and there was a scramble at the resultant corner that was eventually cleared.
The Warriors made two substitutions at half time with the trialist Ryan Robertson limping off at the whistle and he was replaced by Sean Armstrong. The Armstrong-Nimmo combination looked stronger as did the team as a whole in the second period. Stenhousemuir did have the ball in the net just after the resumption when the other sub Kyle Doherty finished from a tight angle. He was flagged offside though and Falkirk kept their goal advantage. This was followed by an audacious effort by Salim from the centre circle when he spotted Bowman off his line. The shot went just over but would have been a goal if it had been on target and showed good vision from the youngster.
This was arguably Stenhousemuir’s best spell of the game and McNeil went close with a diving header in the 57th minute though he probably felt that he should have scored. Both sides continued to play football though it was definitely a competitive match. Falkirk were angry when they felt that Dan Nimmo had fouled Shepherd as he advanced on goal in the closing stages which would have meant a dismissal for the Warrior if given. From my view it looked a clean tackle though and the referee thought the same. The Falkirk manager still had not calmed down by the final whistle and it showed his desire to win, as his players even took the ball to the corner flag in the dying embers of the game to waste time. It was almost not enough though as Ross McNeil had a chance with the last kick of the ball to equalise but his effort screwed just wide with Bowman beaten.
All in all it was a decent game for the Stirlingshire Cup and a number of players on both sides will have done themselves no harm at all in lodging a case for future promotion to the first team.
|July 31, 2013||7:30 pm||Stirlingshire Cup||2013/2014||90'|
|Ochilview Park Stenhousemuir|
|Club||1st Half||2nd Half||Goals||Outcome|