St Mirren's Billy Mehmet gives chase to Falkirk's Pele
St Mirren missed a chance to climb above Hearts in the Scottish Premier League table following a dreary draw with Falkirk in Paisley.
After an uneventful first-half, Michael Higdon opened the scoring in the 53rd-minute after Robert Olejnik tipped his shot off the underside of the bar.
Higdon had the ball in the net later but was adjudged to have handled.
Carl Finnigan struck the equaliser in the dying minutes after Pedro Moutinho set him up with a through ball.
Toufik Zerara made his Falkirk debut and was joined in the starting line-up by Marc Twaddle, while St Mirren recalled captain John Potter and midfielder Stephen O'Donnell.
The visitors were forced into a late change on the bench after Alex MacDonald was injured in the warm-up, the forward replaced by under-19 player Blair Alston.
St Mirren failed to make the most of a number of corners in a game low on action, having failed to win in the SPL since their trip to the Falkirk Stadium two months earlier, while the bottom-placed Bairns had only won once all season in the league.
The hosts started brightly but were caught out in the third minute by Scott Arfield's 18-yard shot, which he fired straight at Paul Gallacher.
Moments later, Olejnik saved with his legs from Stephen O'Donnell, who struck from a tight angle after powering into the box.
Higdon turned his marker in the 20th minute and fired a low shot that Olejnik turned round the post.
At the other end, Zerara brought down a cross with ease and scuffing his left foot finish too close to Gallacher.
The new man then teed up Vitor Lima for a shot that deflected narrowly wide.
The first major incident of the game arrived shortly before the break when John-Paul Potter landed on Finnigan, sparking angry exchanges between both sets of players.
After the break, Higdon opened the scoring for St Mirren in the 53rd minute from 35 yards out with a fantastic shot that Olejnik tipped off the underside of the crossbar.
Shortly after the hour mark, Arfield fired in a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that drifted wide.
Higdon found the net again in the 70th minute, but the referee had already blown the whistle for handball and the scores remained the same.
Falkirk's Lee Bullen failed to connect with a half-chance on the edge of the penalty area as the pace of the game slowed to a crawl.
Chances in the last 15 minutes were few and far between as Falkirk tried to find a way through and St Mirren held on grimly for three points.
The equaliser finally arrived for Falkirk in the dying minutes of a lifeless match after Finnegan picked up a through ball from Moutinho and slotted past Paul Gallacher in the St Mirren goal to snatch a point.
St Mirren manager Gus MacPherson: "When you take the lead, you want to see the game out when it gets to that late stage, but we didn't do that.
"It's frustrating. It's another draw at home and that is a source of frustration when you're in a winning position and can't see the game out.
"But, if you can get the three points, you can see the difference it can make in your league position.
"It's that difficulty of turning performances into three points, but today, like other games, we've been in a winning position at such a late stage."
Falkirk manager Eddie May: "We're delighted to rescue a point, the way the game went.
"Overall, I think we deserved a point. You have to applaud Michael Higdon for his goal, rather than criticise our keeper.
"It was a good goal from Carl. We were just unfortunate that things weren't bouncing our way, but Carl showed good composure to finish it in the bottom corner.
"It's a very difficult venue here. To come and restrict them to one or two chances was very pleasing."
Live text and stats
Saturday, 12 December 2009
02 Ross (Mair 68)
12 O'Donnell (Robb 84)
11 Flynn (Bullen 70)
10 Arfield (Danijel Marceta 73)
27 Toufik Zerara
22 Danijel Marceta
Ref: ThomsonAtt: 4,033
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+2:41 The referee ends the match.
90:00+2:04 Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Toufik Zerara.
90:00+1:54 The ball is swung over by Danijel Marceta, clearance made by Lee Mair.
90:00+0:13 Pedro Monteiro gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Michael Higdon. Stephen McGinn takes the free kick.
89:27 The referee blows for offside against Carl Finnigan. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
87:46 Pedro Moutinho provided the assist for the goal.
87:46 GOAL - Carl Finnigan:St Mirren 1 - 1 Falkirk Carl Finnigan grabs a goal from close range low into the middle of the goal. St Mirren 1-1 Falkirk.
85:22 Corner taken by Toufik Zerara.
83:08 Substitution Steven Robb comes on in place of Stephen O'Donnell.
83:02 The ball is sent over by Marc Twaddle.
79:33 Stephen O'Donnell crosses the ball, clearance made by Pedro Monteiro.
78:06 Outswinging corner taken by Pedro Moutinho, clearance made by Michael Higdon.
77:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Pedro Moutinho on Paul Gallacher. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
76:23 Centre by Stephen O'Donnell.
75:47 Foul by Pedro Monteiro on Billy Mehmet, free kick awarded. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Stephen O'Donnell.
73:36 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
72:19 Substitution Scott Arfield leaves the field to be replaced by Danijel Marceta.
71:05 Foul by Brian McLean on Billy Mehmet, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Stephen O'Donnell.
69:41 Substitution Ryan Flynn goes off and Lee Bullen comes on.
69:19 Michael Higdon is adjudged to have handled the ball. Free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.
68:55 The ball is crossed by Stephen O'Donnell.
66:57 Toufik Zerara delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel.
66:57 Substitution Lee Mair is brought on as a substitute for Jack Ross.
66:57 John Potter concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Flynn.
65:37 Stephen O'Donnell takes a shot. Save by Robert Olejnik.
Correction - 64:39 Corner taken left-footed by Vitor Lima from the right by-line, Michael Higdon manages to make a clearance.
64:39 Corner taken by Vitor Lima from the right by-line, Billy Mehmet makes a clearance.
64:33 The ball is swung over by Darren Barr, David Barron gets a block in.
63:14 Scott Arfield produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that misses to the left of the goal.
62:49 The ball is crossed by Stephen O'Donnell, save by Robert Olejnik.
60:27 Pedro Moutinho challenges Hugh Murray unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
59:12 Stephen O'Donnell takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Carl Finnigan.
58:50 Hugh Murray takes a shot. Blocked by Vitor Lima.
58:18 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Billy Mehmet by Pedro Monteiro. David Barron restarts play with the free kick.
57:36 Free kick awarded for a foul by Stephen O'Donnell on Ryan Flynn. Free kick taken by Marc Twaddle.
55:44 Centre by Stephen O'Donnell.
54:03 Centre by Ryan Flynn, save by Paul Gallacher.
52:19 GOAL - Michael Higdon:St Mirren 1 - 0 Falkirk Michael Higdon scores a goal from long range high into the middle of the goal. St Mirren 1-0 Falkirk.
51:52 Unfair challenge on Carl Finnigan by Chris Innes results in a free kick. Robert Olejnik takes the direct free kick.
50:36 Foul by Darren Barr on Garry Brady, free kick awarded. The free kick is delivered right-footed by David Barron from left wing,
clearance made by Brian McLean.
48:01 Ryan Flynn produces a cross, clearance by Jack Ross.
45:25 The ball is swung over by Ryan Flynn, clearance by John Potter.
45:01 The second half kicks off.
45:00+0:10 The first half comes to an end.
42:35 Carl Finnigan fouled by John Potter, the ref awards a free kick. Brian McLean takes the free kick.
39:14 Corner from the right by-line taken by Stephen O'Donnell, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Chris Innes misses to
the left of the goal.
38:52 Scott Arfield concedes a free kick for a foul on Stephen McGinn. Stephen McGinn takes the free kick.
37:18 The ball is swung over by Stephen O'Donnell, clearance by Vitor Lima.
36:06 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Stephen O'Donnell by Toufik Zerara. Free kick crossed by Jack Ross, clearance
by Marc Twaddle.
35:08 Toufik Zerara takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Ryan Flynn takes a shot. Save by Paul Gallacher.
34:04 Vitor Lima produces a drilled right-footed shot from 25 yards. Blocked by Hugh Murray. Outswinging corner taken from the left
by-line by Toufik Zerara, John Potter manages to make a clearance.
33:38 Foul by Chris Innes on Carl Finnigan, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Vitor Lima.
33:10 The ball is crossed by David Barron, save made by Robert Olejnik.
32:26 Drilled left-footed shot by Vitor Lima. Paul Gallacher makes a save.
31:37 The ball is delivered by Michael Higdon, Brian McLean makes a clearance.
30:33 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Stephen O'Donnell from the right by-line to the near post, Darren Barr makes a clearance.
26:50 Ryan Flynn delivers the ball.
26:18 Marc Twaddle challenges Stephen O'Donnell unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jack Ross takes the direct free kick.
23:52 Garry Brady takes a corner.
23:05 Billy Mehmet has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.
22:22 Scott Arfield has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.
20:08 Stephen O'Donnell takes a shot. Robert Olejnik makes a save.
19:13 Corner taken by Garry Brady played to the near post, Vitor Lima manages to make a clearance.
18:57 Michael Higdon takes a shot. Save by Robert Olejnik.
17:49 Scott Arfield gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen McGinn. Free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
15:31 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Paul Gallacher.
14:32 Marc Twaddle delivers the ball, John Potter makes a clearance.
11:33 Handball by Garry Brady. Pedro Monteiro restarts play with the free kick.
10:58 Shot from a long way out by Vitor Lima goes wide of the left-hand post.
10:40 Hugh Murray challenges Vitor Lima unfairly and gives away a free kick. Pedro Monteiro takes the free kick.
6:47 Scott Arfield concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Higdon. Free kick crossed right-footed by Jack Ross from right channel,
clearance by Vitor Lima.
4:01 Billy Mehmet challenges Scott Arfield unfairly and gives away a free kick. Pedro Monteiro takes the free kick.
3:23 John Potter fouled by Scott Arfield, the ref awards a free kick. Paul Gallacher takes the free kick.
2:53 Drilled right-footed shot by Scott Arfield. Save by Paul Gallacher.
1:46 Michael Higdon fouled by Brian McLean, the ref awards a free kick. Jack Ross delivers the ball from the free kick right-footed
from right channel, clearance made by Darren Barr.
0:48 Corner taken by Garry Brady from the left by-line, Headed effort from deep inside the area by Chris Innes misses to the left
of the goal.
0:00 The match begins.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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