Queen of the South left the Falkirk Stadium full of frustration as they missed a number of chances to win the game before conceding late on to lose 2-1 to Falkirk.
Falkirk just about edged the first half and went in with a one-goal lead after Rory Loy?s 34th minute penalty. Queens were a different proposition in the second period and grabbed the equaliser through Iain Russell`s fine volley. The away side then missed a number of opportunities before Loy snatched his second of the game and all three points.
The home side began the better of the two teams and looked to put the Queens defence under early pressure but it was Iain Russell who had the first effort on goal. The winger beat his man on the left and cut inside to fire a right-footed effort well clear of McGovern?s crossbar.
Russell races in on goal
Falkirk created their first sight of goal after 10 minutes as Jay Fulton nodded the ball down into the path of Rory Loy who attempted a volley from the edge of the Queens area but miscued and the ball dribbled harmlessly past the left-hand post of Calum Antell.
Queens then opened up the home defence as Michael Paton turned his man and sprinted down the wing to cross for the onrushing Ian McShane but the youngster could not control his header and sent it well over the top.
On 22 minutes Phil Roberts flicked a looping header onto the top of the Queens net before Falkirk really hemmed in the Queens defence as they won five corners in succession. The Queens defence held firm though and saw out the danger with Falkirk unable to worry Antell.
Derek Lyle won a free-kick in the middle of the Falkirk goal, about 30 yards out on the half hour. Michael Paton fancied his chances and curled his shot well around the wall but Michael McGovern was equal to it and held the ball well.
The opening goal came from a succession of errors from Queens players as Derek Lyle lost possession inside his own half and in his haste to regain the ball scythed down Craig Sibbald on the edge of the Queens box. The forward rightly earned a booking and Falkirk had a free-kick in a very dangerous position. Phil Roberts stepped up and struck it well but for the wall to block with what looked like an arm. Referee John Beaton spotted it and awarded Falkirk the spot kick. Rory Loy stepped up to comfortably send Antell the wrong way and gave his side a deserved lead after 34 minutes.
Loy sends Antell the wrong way
Queens had struggled to really test the home goalkeeper until the 41st minute when Ryan McGuffie found himself in space at the back post only to see his chance of an effort on goal snuffed out by the Falkirk defence. Instead McGuffie laid the ball on for Iain Russell on the 18-yard line to smack the ball goalwards only for McGovern to pull off a reaction save, keeping the score at 1-0 going into half-time.
The Doonhamers came out firing in the second half as they began to play with a much higher tempo and almost equalised eight minutes after the restart as McGuffie and then Russell came close. Ryan McGuffie`s chance came straight from an Ian McShane corner whipped into the centre of goal where the full-back evaded his marker only to miss his connection with the ball. Queens kept the attack going and Iain Russell ran at the home defence, dancing across the goal before hitting a low shot toward the back post bringing out a good low stop from Michael McGovern.
Andy Dowie then headed over from another McShane corner before Queens were rewarded for their second half performance with the equaliser after 57 minutes.
Derek Lyle beat the offside trap only for the ball to force him wide onto the left wing. The striker got his head up and spotted Iain Russell lurking on the edge of the area and picked him out with a nicely flighted pass for Russell to control the ball before smashing it into the far corner with a cracking volleyed effort. It was no less than the Doonhamers deserved and they pressed for another goal soon afterward.
Firstly Lyle could not meet Kevin Holt`s wicked cross before Paton had a long-range shot deflected over. Falkirk were not done however and they threatened with chances of their own as Stephen Kingsley slalomed through a couple of challenges and cut the ball back for Phil Roberts to see his shot clip the outside of the post on 68 minutes.
Michael Paton then brought a decent save from McGovern when the former-Aberdeen striker may have felt he could have done better before the Queens defence were pushed to their limits.
Falkirk`s Rory Loy had the chance to double his tally on 67 minutes only for Andy Dowie to perform a last-ditch block but the chance was not over as the Queens defence failed to clear. Eventually the ball dropped to the back post where Craig Sibbald was waiting and midfielder hit his effort well, beating Calum Antell only for Queens captain Chris Higgins to deny him by clearing the ball off the goal-line.
Into the last ten minutes and Ryan McGuffie had another chance to put his side into the lead from another McShane-delivered corner. This time he met the ball better but again could not redirect it on target and the ball flashed wide. It was to be chance the away side would rue as Falkirk snatched the victory just a minute later.
Again it was Queens` own doing as Kevin Dzierzawski gave the ball away in the centre circle allowing substitute Rakish Bingham to drive at the centre of the Queens defence. He passed to Rory Loy who took a touch before burying the ball low beyond Antell from 25 yards to snatch the three points despite being second best for much of the second half.
Antell can`t get close to Loy`s strike to win the game