Falkirk 4 - 0 Inverness CT

League Match
Saturday, March 21st, 2009, 3:00 PM at The Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk
Attendance: 5,523
Referee: Calum Murray
Falkirk Inverness CT

Carl Finnigan (37)
Mark Stewart (65)
Scott Arfield (pen 82)
Carl Finnigan (90)

Team Managers
John Hughes Terry Butcher

Starting Eleven
Castro Dani Mallo
Jackie McNamara
Thomas Scobbie
Steven Pressley
Lee Bullen
Patrick Cregg
Burton O Brien
Scott Arfield
Mark Stewart
Carl Finnigan
Michael Higdon
Ryan Esson
Ross Tokely
Grant Munro
David Proctor
Lionel Djebi-Zadi
Pavels Mihadjuks
Russell Duncan
Ian Black
Dougie Imrie
Adam Rooney
Richie Foran

Robert Olejnik
Dean Holden
Gerard Aafjes
Kevin McBride
Neil McCann
Arnau Riera
Kevin Moffat
Michael Fraser
Richard Hastings
Jamie Duff
Iain Vigurs
Filipe Morais
Brian Kerr
Andrew Barrowman

Kevin McBride => Michael Higdon (68)
Neil McCann => Mark Stewart (79)
Gerard Aafjes => Steven Pressley (83)
Andrew Barrowman for Russell Duncan (74)
Filipe Morais for Adam Rooney (78)
Michael Fraser for Pavels Mihadjuks (81)

None. Richie Foran (72)

Red Cards
None. Ryan Esson (81)
Appearances & Goals To Date
Ryan Esson (GK) 24 apps -
Pavels Mihadjuks 12 apps2 goals
David Proctor 86 apps5 goals
Ross Tokely 474 apps31 goals
Grant Munro 275 apps7 goals
Lionel Djebi-Zadi 12 apps -
Russell Duncan 287 apps9 goals
Ian Black 136 apps8 goals
Richie Foran 9 apps2 goals
Dougie Imrie 50 apps6 goals
Adam Rooney 33 apps6 goals
Michael Fraser (sub) (GK) 72 apps -
Filipe Morais (sub) 7 apps2 goals
Andrew Barrowman (sub) 25 apps2 goals

Starting Lineup
Youngest Player:David Proctor (25 years 22 days)
Oldest Player:Lionel Djebi-Zadi (2010 years 234 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 163 days
Domestic Players:11 (100.00 % of starting eleven)

Matchday Squad
Youngest Player:Iain Vigurs (20 years 323 days)
Oldest Player:Lionel Djebi-Zadi (2010 years 234 days)
Average Player Age:27 years 33 days
Domestic Players:17 (94.44 % of matchday squad)

First Team Debuts

Dougie Imrie played his 50th major competitive game for the Club.

Disaster Day as Bairns score four:

Inverness Caledonian Thistle travelled to Falkirk with a chance to put clear daylight between themselves and bottom of the league Falkirk.

A lacklustre first half display saw Caley Jags going in at half time a goal down. Despite having the better chances early in the second half they conceded again on 65 minutes and things went from bad to worse after 81 minutes when the referee deemed Esson to have brought down the last man and was red carded.

Falkirk scored from the resulting penalty and there was no way back for ICT who conceded another at the close of the match.

Falkirk pull back to within a point and the 4 goals do real damage to an already shaky goal difference.

from CTO:

A terrible match between two equally terrible teams. How there were four goals at all is anyone's guess.

The first goal looked to all the world like it was miles offside - even Finnigan initially looked like he assumed he was off.

The penalty? No idea what it was for, it was down the other end and no Falkirk player was appealing for it.

Calum Murray was appalling - every time there was a high ball one of our guys got a shove in the back.

Defensively, though, we were a joke. Djebi-Zadi had a mare. I can't remember Grant Munro ever having a worse game. He lost every header to Higdon and his distribution was utterly abysmal. The number of times I saw Mihadjuks sprinting out to wide areas to cover his team mates was astronomical - he is the only one of the back four who doesn't deserve a total kick up the arse. There is certainly a case for Hastings to return to the team - either at left back or centre back.

God knows what we were doing in the first half, lobbing high balls at Imrie and Rooney. Blackie barely got a kick in the first 45 because the ball kept being punted over his head. Proctor kept wandering in field and we had about as much width as Kate Moss. Only in the second period did we finally start putting into the channels and getting Foran in the box. Until the second goal, you would have said we were well on top.

In conclusion, a complete, unmitigated disaster. And in front of a phenomenal away support as well. (542)

from BBC Sport:

Scottish Premier League bottom club Falkirk hammered Inverness to cut the gap on their opponents to one point.

Jackie McNamara's mis-hit shot was diverted into the net by Carl Finnigan on 37 minutes and Mark Stewart fired a second 20 minutes into the second half.

Inverness goalkeeper Ryan Esson was sent off for a foul on Finnigan and Scott Arfield converted the resultant penalty on 82 minutes.

Finnigan grabbed his second in injury time after being set-up by Neil McCann.

The home side enjoyed the majority of possession in the early stages but struggled to carve out scoring chances, Stewart firing over from the edge of the area after 17 minutes.

After weathering the storm, Inverness missed an excellent chance to take the lead when Rooney rounded goalkeeper Dani Mallo but was beaten by the angle as the shot went off target.

Falkirk went back on the offensive and went in front when McNamara failed to make a proper connection with a shot, but Finnigan reacted quickly in the six-yard box to put the ball past Esson.

The Inverness players were unhappy with the award of the goal, believing Finnigan to have been in an offside position.

Dougie Imrie (left) and Patrick Cregg challenge for the ball

Mallo saved a free-kick effort from Dougie Imrie before Finnigan saw a tame effort saved by Esson.

Inverness were more enterprising in the second half but came up against a stubborn Falkirk defence marshalled by former Scotland internationals McNamara and Steven Pressley.

Mallo almost presented the Highlanders with a chance to level when he spilled Richie Foran's shot into the path of Rooney, but Tam Scobbie did enough to avert the danger.

Stewart increased Falkirk's lead when he latched on to Michael Higdon's flick-on from a long ball and slammed the ball past Esson.

Imrie volleyed over from close range for the visitors before the injured Pressley had to be replaced by Gerard Aafjes.

Finnigan won a penalty for his side following a challenge by Esson, who was promptly shown a red card by referee Calum Murray.

Pavels Mihadjuks was withdrawn as keeper Michael Fraser was introduced from the Inverness bench and Arfield was successful from the spot.

McCann remained onside to set up Finnigan for a near-post finish in the closing stages.

The win boosts Falkirk's superior goal difference over Inverness, who have played a game more than their victors.

Falkirk manager John Hughes:
"I'm delighted for the boys. Our performance showed that there is a real spirit amongst them.

"They stood up today and really did me proud. We were very hard-working in midfield and the strikers got their goals.

"We looked solid, we won our tackles and they were all working very hard for each other.

"Every one of them to a man gave me everything that they had and we got four goals, so that's pleasing.

"Nothing will get decided on today's performance, I think it will be after the splits into two.

"I felt the supporters got right behind us so we're pleased about that and I'm pleased to keep a clean sheet."

Inverness manager Terry Butcher:
"I can have no complaints about the result because Falkirk deserved to win the game. You've got to hold your hands up and just say it was a very bad day at the office for us.

"We asked the linesman about the first goal. I think Finnigan was in an offside position when the ball was transferred across to the other side.

"But it was one of those ones when he wasn't active and he's then recovered his run and tapped it in.

"We went down to 10 men. I'll have to have a look at that and see if that's worth an appeal. Ryan Esson is adamant that it wasn't a sending off offence.

"It's about how we bounce back now. The players never got to the levels that they had been showing before and we'll have a look at why and make sure that we get back to those levels.

"We have four home games left and, if we can win those four, that'll take us to 40 points, which should see us safe. We've still got it within our own hands."

Match report written by tm4tj/site

Pld W D L F A +/- Pts
1. Celtic 29 19 7 3 64 29 35 64
2. Rangers 29 18 7 4 59 22 37 61
3. Hearts 30 14 7 9 33 32 1 49
4. Aberdeen 30 12 8 10 34 30 4 44
5. Dundee Utd 30 11 11 8 40 38 2 44
6. Hibernian 30 10 10 10 33 35 -2 40
7. Motherwell 30 11 7 12 34 38 -4 40
8. Hamilton Academical 30 10 3 17 25 41 -16 33
9. Kilmarnock 30 8 6 16 27 40 -13 30
10. St. Mirren 29 7 9 13 23 39 -16 30
11. Inverness CT 30 8 4 18 29 49 -20 28
12. Falkirk 29 6 9 14 32 40 -8 27