Falkirk came out the traps running and were the far better team in the opening period.
Rumarn Burrell was a constant danger in the first half, and had a massive chance just six minutes in. A set piece is swung in from out wide by Craig McGuffie and fell perfectly to the striker, but his volley was straight at the goalkeeper from the edge of the six-yard box. Minutes later Burrell beat Kyle Benedictus for pace twice in a row, and the Dunfermline captain was duly booked for wiping out Burrell on both occasions.
Burrell was involved again shortly after as he continued to have the beating of Benedictus down the right-hand side, and after going clear again he found Craig McGuffie in space at the edge of the box, but the Falkirk winger couldn’t keep his effort on target. Burrell then had a shot saved from a tight angle as he received the ball six yards out, before Liam Henderson headed wide from close range following the resulting set piece.
Dunfermline had very little in the way of chances or the ball in the opening half hour, and Falkirk were rewarded for their performance with a goal just after the thirty-minute mark. Burrell was again the danger down the right, he ran from deep in his own half to the edge of the Dunfermline box before finding Aidan Nesbitt at the edge of the box. The Falkirk number ten looked to shoot, but played the ball to Callumn Morrison for an easy tap in.
Dunfermline looked threatening for the first time with a series of set pieces immediately after the goal and would have equalised if not for an excellent save from Nicky Hogarth to tip the ball into the post following a close-range shot. Despite this Falkirk still looked the better of the two teams and could’ve added a second with several potent attacks that couldn’t find a final ball.
In a classic tale of two halves Dunfermline came out for the second period guns blazing, and Falkirk struggled to match their intensity. They immediately made their intentions known as Lewis McCann forced Hogarth into a save around the post, and they continued to threaten from the following set pieces. Falkirk still looked dangerous on the break, and Callumn Morrison had a shot deflected just past the post after running from deep. Joe Chalmers was next to have a go, and his rocket from 25 yards was only denied by the inside of the post. The goal seemed to be coming, but an unforced error caused it. Liam Henderson slid in late to bring down Todorov after the ball had already gone, and Benedictus scored from the spot to level the score.
In the following ten minutes Falkirk had their best period of the half so far, but Dunfermline should have had a second as Chris Mochrie beat several men before firing wide from the edge of the box. The home side came close again five minutes later as Nikolay Todorov slid in at the near post and his effort clipped the post.
Falkirk started getting on the ball more in the final fifteen minutes, and probably looked the more likely to score late on. Callumn Morrison did well to get on the end of Coll Donaldson’s long ball, but his cut back was just too far ahead of Rumarn Burrell, Then the provider got the chance as Rumarn Burrell took out the goalkeeper with a cutback that found Morrison, but the latter couldn’t finish past the three defenders closing him down.
As the game closed out Falkirk had two brilliant chances to get the three points. Morrison did brilliantly to drive in from the right and Burrell managed to get a foot on it, but the contact wasn’t enough. With the final kick of the ball Steven Hetherington was found with a free kick, but his header was straight at the goalkeeper as The Bairns had to make do with the draw.
Full Time: Dunfermline Athletic 1-1 Falkirk
FALKIRK: Hogarth, Yeats, McCann, Donaldson, Henderson, McGinn, Oliver, Nesbitt, McGuffie, Morrison, Burrell
Subs: Martin, Ross, Kennedy, Malcolm, McKay, Mackie, Carroll, Lawal
DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC: Mehmet, Comrie, Benedictus, Breen, Edwards, MacDonald, Chalmers, Todd, Mochrie, McCann, Todorov
Subs: Hamilton, Wighton, Fisher, Young, Todd, Sutherland, Little