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Page last updated at 16:54 GMT, Saturday, 14 February 2009

St Mirren 2-2 Falkirk

St Mirren v Falkirk
St Mirren midfielder Andy Dorman (right) was a key figure in the match

St Mirren were forced to settle for a point at St Mirren Park as Falkirk were awarded a controversial late penalty.

The home side took the lead through Andy Dorman's rifled drive but the visitors grabbed an equaliser from Carl Finnigan's fine turn and finish.

St Mirren enjoyed the lion's share of the possession and Dorman deservedly restored their lead on 79 minutes.

But with five minutes remaining Scott Arfield converted a penalty kick to steal a priceless point for Falkirk.

The home side were forced into a change early on when Steven Robb was injured trying to cross the ball, with Garry Brady replacing the left-sided player.

The visitors applied most of the early pressure, and, from his side's second corner, Michael Higdon headed over at the back post from only six yards out.

But it was the home side who took the lead when midfielder Dorman was fed a through ball by Thomson and fired the ball through the legs of Falkirk keeper Dani Mallo.

Then, from Dorman's corner, John Potter had a shot from the edge of the box blocked, as the Buddies enjoyed a spell of dominance in the match.

Brady then tried a dipping effort from outside the box following a run from Dorman, but his shot flew wide of the mark.

Saints were then handed an opportunity when Steven Pressley hauled down Wyness at the edge of the box.

Former Celtic full-back Mo Camara, searching for a goal on his debut, rifled in a powerful drive which Mallo struggled to punch clear.

Dean Holden then had a rare effort on goal for the visitors, but his volley flew tamely into the arms of Smith in the St Mirren goal.

Against the run of play however, Finnigan grabbed an equaliser from Dean Holden's knock-down with a fine turn and shot which brought the Bairns back into the game.

Hugh Murray had the opportunity to put the hosts back into the lead towards the end of the first half, but headed over from Dorman's corner.

The Buddies tried their luck again from a free-kick, but Dorman's effort flew straight into Falkirk's defensive wall.

From the resultant clearance Garry Brady tried another speculative effort which had Mallo scrambling to turn the ball wide.

Falkirk youngster Mark Stewart then went close with a spectacular diving header, but Smith was well-positioned to save.

Straight away Billy Mehmet had a shot as the second half sparked into life, but his effort was off-target.

With Saints continuing to see more of the ball, Dorman managed to get sight of goal and smashed the ball high into the roof of the net to grab his sixth goal of the season.

However, the visitors were handed a lifeline late on when former Falkirk player Jack Ross was deemed to handle the ball on the line, and Arfield powered the penalty kick high into the net.


St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson:
"For long periods we looked comfortable and we feel that it's two points dropped.

"We were positive and played with a lot of confidence and we'll continue doing that.

"Andy Dorman makes fantastic runs; he's prepared to run beyond his strikers and there's not many midfield players like that.

"A lot of midfielders want to sit behind the ball and pass it from side to side. He's a rare commodity in the game.

"When you take the lead twice you're always hoping to hang onto it, especially at home.

"If you want to climb the table and compete for a top six place you've got to win your home games, especially when you're playing as well as we are. The players are bitterly disappointed."

Falkirk manager John Hughes:
"I thought St Mirren were the better side in the second half but once again we were resolute although it was disappointing to lose two goals.

"We were a bit fortunate but young Jamie Moffat, in only his second game, got a goal, won the penalty and was on the front foot.

"We're showing good form at the moment and plenty spirit but I'm disappointed because we're better defenders than what we're showing out there.

"Not always the best side wins football matches; that's happened to us many times before."


St Mirren: Smith, Ross, Potter, Cuthbert, Camara, Murray, Dorman, Thomson, Robb (Brady 12), Wyness (Burns 72), Mehmet. Subs Not Used: Howard, Mason, Barron, McAusland, McGinn.

Booked: Ross.

Goals: Dorman 20, 79.

Falkirk: Dani Mallo, Bullen, Pressley, Barr, Holden, O'Brien, Arfield, Finnigan, Mitchell (Moffat 83), Lovell (Stewart 64), Higdon. Subs Not Used: Olejnik, Cregg, Riera, McCaffrey, Lynch.

Booked: Pressley, Finnigan, Arfield, Bullen, O'Brien.

Goals: Finnigan 35, Arfield 85 pen.

Att: 5,504

Ref: M Tumilty (Scotland).



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