Falkirk's Flynn missed a late chance to keep his side in the SPL
By Clive Lindsay
Falkirk were relegated to Division One for the first time since 2005 as nervy Kilmarnock held on desperately for the point they needed for survival.
Neither goalkeeper was seriously tested as both sides were thwarted by a series of superb last-ditch challenges.
Falkirk had the better of the first half, while the second was more even.
Ryan Flynn missed a great late chance for the Bairns and the draw was enough for Kilmarnock to extend their 17-year run in Scotland's top flight.
The Ayrshire side have never been absent from the Scottish Premier League and finish the season two points clear of their final-day opponents at Rugby Park.
Kilmarnock manager Jimmy Calderwood had named an attacking line-up, with on-loan striker Chris Maguire returning after being forced to sit out Wednesday's win over employers Aberdeen and Danny Invincibile being rewarded for a good performance as a substitute.
And it was the home side who exerted the early pressure and only a fine interception by stand-in right back Brian McLean prevented Craig Bryson picking his spot after Kevin Kyle's flick on found the midfielder inside the six-yard box.
Killie manager Calderwood was celebrating at Rugby Park
However, it was Steven Pressley's Falkirk side, who were unchanged from the one that drew with St Johnstone, who started to dominate possession.
It was Manuel Pascali this time who was called upon to make a last-ditch, goal-saving block to prevent Colin Healy's shot finding the target from eight yards.
A clever Tam Scobbie flick found Flynn in the clear 10 yards out, but the Falkirk winger completely missed his attempt on the turn.
Kilmarnock were now playing on the break and, when Scobbie slipped challenging Kyle, they came close to opening the scoring against the run of play.
Kyle found Bryson on the edge of the box, but the midfielder's attempt to find Invincibile was just too far in front of the unmarked Australian.
Falkirk ended the half on top, with Enoch Showunmi flashing a drive well wide from the edge of the box after a neat turn.
Calderwood made a change at half-time, with Invincibile being replaced with Conor Sammon as the Killie boss looked to block the attacks coming down Falkirk's right wing.
However, Scott Arfield was still able to find McLean in the clear only for the big defender to panic and send an aimless pass into the six-yard box instead of shooting.
A Kyle header looped on to the top of the Bairns goal as Kilmarnock began to exert some pressure of their own.
With Calderwood replacing Pascali with the more defensive Simon Ford and Pressley going for striker Mark Stewart in place of defender Scobbie after 63 minutes, the strategies were clear.
However, it was Killie who created the next chance and Arfield made a potentially goal-saving tackle to deny Bryson as the midfielder was found in the penalty box by Jamie Hamill.
A fine saving tackle by Marc Twaddle prevented Sammon breaking clear for Kilmarnock.
McLean headed well wide after rising above the Killie defence, while Bryson sent a dangerous cross-cum-shot across the face of the Falkirk goal.
The Bairns had the ball in the net after 77 minutes, but Finnigan had clearly barged goalkeeper Combe over the line.
A Bryson cross took a deflection off Darren Barr and clipped the top of the Falkirk crossbar with seven minutes remaining.
Flynn missed a great chance to save the Bairns after 86 minutes when Showunmi's flick on found the winger in the clear 10 yards out, but he volleyed over with the goal at his mercy.
A Finnigan volley beat Combe from 16 yards and the deflection took the ball a yard wide of the far post, but Killie survived as Falkirk failed to repeat last year's feat of escaping relegation on the final day of the season.
Live text and stats
Saturday, 8 May 2010
(HT 0-0)Falkirk are relegated
02 Clancy yellow card
08 Pascali (Ford 63)
11 Invincibile (Sammon 46)
23 Hamill yellow card
28 Maguire (Fowler 69 yellow card)
03 Scobbie (Stewart 64)
04 Twaddle yellow card
24 Healy (Finnigan 75)
07 Moutinho (Compton 83)
22 Danijel Marceta
Ref: McDonaldAtt: 10,662
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
90:00+5:47 The referee blows his whistle to end the game.
90:00+4:58 Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jack Compton from the left by-line, Liam Kelly manages to make a clearance.
90:00+4:38 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Kyle on Brian McLean. Free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.
90:00+2:41 Craig Bryson challenges Burton O'Brien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Robert Olejnik takes the direct free kick.
90:00+1:41 Inswinging corner taken by Jack Compton from the right by-line, Alan Combe makes a save.
88:36 Corner from the right by-line taken by Jack Compton, Liam Kelly manages to make a clearance.
87:17 Shot on goal by Ryan Flynn from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.
86:40 Robert Olejnik restarts play with the free kick.
86:40 Booking The referee shows James Fowler a yellow card.
86:31 James Fowler concedes a free kick for a foul on Ryan Flynn.
Correction - 85:37 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Liam Kelly by Scott Arfield. Alan Combe takes the direct free kick.
85:37 Liam Kelly fouled by Scott Arfield, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan Combe,
82:49 Substitution (Falkirk) makes a substitution, with Jack Compton coming on for Pedro Moutinho.
82:03 Craig Bryson takes the inswinging corner, clearance made by Carl Finnigan.
81:30 Liam Kelly fouled by Scott Arfield, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Tim Clancy from left channel.
79:28 Outswinging corner taken by Pedro Moutinho from the right by-line, clearance made by Tim Clancy.
78:55 Corner taken right-footed by Pedro Moutinho from the right by-line, Scott Severin makes a clearance.
77:57 The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Marc Twaddle.
77:20 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Alan Combe by Carl Finnigan. Direct free kick taken by Alan Combe.
73:59 Pedro Moutinho takes the direct free kick, Effort on goal by Brian McLean from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.
73:59 Substitution Colin Healy goes off and Carl Finnigan comes on.
73:59 Booking Booking for Tim Clancy.
73:44 Unfair challenge on Darren Barr by Tim Clancy results in a free kick.
68:51 Substitution James Fowler on for Christopher Maguire.
67:45 Corner taken right-footed by Pedro Moutinho, clearance made by Kevin Kyle.
67:15 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Pedro Moutinho, clearance by Kevin Kyle.
65:56 Jamie Hamill challenges Ryan Flynn unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Burton O'Brien.
64:57 Kevin Kyle is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.
64:22 Corner taken by Craig Bryson from the right by-line to the near post, clearance made by Burton O'Brien.
62:39 Substitution Mark Stewart joins the action as a substitute, replacing Thomas Scobbie.
62:39 Substitution Simon Ford is brought on as a substitute for Manuel Pascali.
60:01 Christopher Maguire takes a shot. Robert Olejnik makes a comfortable save.
59:28 Corner taken right-footed by Craig Bryson, clearance made by Enoch Showunmi.
51:16 Craig Bryson takes the inswinging corner, Kevin Kyle produces a header from inside the area that goes over the crossbar.
45:46 Foul by Enoch Showunmi on Frazer Wright, free kick awarded. Alan Combe takes the direct free kick.
45:01 The second half has started.
45:01 Substitution Conor Sammon is brought on as a substitute for Daniele Invincibile.
45:00+2:48 The ref blows to signal half-time.
45:00+1:54 Manuel Pascali challenges Pedro Moutinho unfairly and gives away a free kick. The ball is delivered by Pedro Moutinho, Brian
McLean produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box which goes wide of the right-hand post.
44:16 Effort from the edge of the area by Enoch Showunmi goes wide of the left-hand post.
42:15 Christopher Maguire produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide left of the goal.
40:57 Frazer Wright challenges Robert Olejnik unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.
40:32 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Bryson from the right by-line, save by Robert Olejnik.
36:25 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Kyle on Thomas Scobbie. Direct free kick taken by Thomas Scobbie.
35:59 Pedro Moutinho challenges Frazer Wright unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Alan Combe.
30:06 Brian McLean challenges Tim Clancy unfairly and gives away a free kick. Alan Combe restarts play with the free kick.
28:09 Free kick awarded for a foul by Enoch Showunmi on Frazer Wright. Free kick taken by Alan Combe.
25:23 Corner taken by Pedro Moutinho from the right by-line played to the near post, Daniele Invincibile makes a clearance.
24:45 Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Kyle on Thomas Scobbie. Free kick taken by Robert Olejnik.
23:34 Direct free kick taken by Scott Severin.
23:34 Booking Booking for Marc Twaddle.
23:17 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Christopher Maguire by Marc Twaddle.
21:53 Colin Healy challenges Kevin Kyle unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Scott Severin.
16:37 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marc Twaddle on Christopher Maguire. Direct free kick taken by Scott Severin.
14:54 Pedro Moutinho takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Tim Clancy.
14:18 Direct free kick taken by Thomas Scobbie.
14:18 Booking Jamie Hamill booked for unsporting behaviour.
14:08 Foul by Jamie Hamill on Ryan Flynn, free kick awarded.
13:19 Foul by Jamie Hamill on Pedro Moutinho, free kick awarded. Burton O'Brien takes the free kick.
13:08 Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Craig Bryson, Burton O'Brien makes a clearance.
12:28 Corner from the right by-line taken by Craig Bryson, Manuel Pascali takes a shot. Clearance by Burton O'Brien.
9:20 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Bryson from the right by-line, free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on
Thomas Scobbie by Daniele Invincibile. Robert Olejnik takes the direct free kick.
8:23 Foul by Enoch Showunmi on Scott Severin, free kick awarded. Alan Combe takes the direct free kick.
7:34 Scott Arfield takes a shot from a long way out clearing the bar.
6:30 Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Craig Bryson, clearance by Enoch Showunmi.
3:15 Corner taken by Craig Bryson, save by Robert Olejnik.
2:56 Marc Twaddle fouled by Kevin Kyle, the ref awards a free kick. Thomas Scobbie takes the direct free kick.
2:38 Colin Healy challenges Craig Bryson unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Severin restarts play with the free kick.
0:00 The referee gets the game underway.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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