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Saints and Bairns share points

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St Johnstone
U20 Scottish PFL
8 December 2013
St Johnstone lined up in their Eskişehirspor inspired red and black away strip to face a Falkirk side that were narrowly beaten 3-2 last time out against Celtic.  The Perth youngsters suffered a 4-2 defeat to Hearts last week and made five changes for this encounter with Gray, Brown, Stewart and Kane coming in and first team regular Steven Anderson making his first appearance since injuring his thumb back in September. 

Both teams started brightly, however it was Falkirk who threatened the Saints goal first with two early chances.  Alston picked the ball up in the middle of the park and slotted in Small, but his shot was thwarted by the covering Gilchrist who managed to block the ball out for a corner.  Moments later, Alston was involved again, this time going for goal himself only to be kept out by the post.

Up the other end, a tidy lay-off from Croft found the onrushing Stewart who dragged his shot wide of the goalkeeper’s right hand post.  In the 26th minute, Croft was again provider as he broke down the right hand side and delivered the ball to the back post, where the unmarked Taylor-Mckenzie really should have done better, instead blasting wide of the target. 

The action continued to unfold as Falkirk went on the attack.  A loose pass from Croft allowed Biabi to drive through the middle at pace before unleashing a wild strike that sent the ball-boy high into the stand behind the goal. 

However, in the 35th minute, Falkirk did manage to take the lead.   A dangerous corner was twice headed on to the cross bar before eventually being nodded in by Small from all of five yards, past the helpless Hurst.
Half Time: Falkirk 1-0 St Johnstone

The second half commenced with St Johnstone’s Croft moving upfront to partner the in form Chris Kane.  The partnership took all of two minutes to excel as Croft worked his way to the by-line and delivered a cross that was met perfectly by the prolific Kane, who powerfully headed into the bottom corner to level the game up in the 47th minute.

Croft was involved again in the 65th minute when his low cross landed at the feet of Taylor-Mckenzie, who set himself before a tame effort was easily gathered by Bowman in the Falkirk net.
Five minutes later, Croft floated a corner into the area which found the unmarked Gilchrist who failed to find the target with his free header at the back post.

A spell of Falkirk pressure amounted to little and it was the Perth side who continued to take control of the second half.  The Saints went close in the 82nd minute when a header clipped the outside of the post and went safely out for a goal kick.  St Johnstone went even closer in the 88th minute as Brown played a beautifully weighted chipped through ball into the path of Kane, who struck a venomous first time volley that agonizingly crashed back off the post.

Referee Gavin Duncan brought the game to a close shortly after in a contest that both teams may feel aggrieved not to have won.
Full Time: Falkirk 1-1 St Johnstone
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