Written by Adam Sturrock
Falkirk ended ICT’s unbeaten run at the death of a competitive game between the sides, the game ended 3-2 to the Bairns.
It was the second game between the sides this season after the Caley Jags’ 1-0 win away on the opening day as the home side looked to extend their run against a team that was at the foot of the table.
ICTFC started brightly after some neat play from Liam Polworth. The number seven picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch and swivelled to push forward into space. Walsh made a run to his right and was slid through on goal with an excellent pass, with the former Falkirk player shooting across goal and into the net to get ICT ahead at the 5th minute.
Falkirk looked to return the favour in kind within a few minutes but Zak Rudden’s long range strike, though dipping slightly, was easily caught by Mark Ridgers. The Rangers loanee was massively involved in the equaliser ten minutes after ICT’s goal. Petravicius crossed from the right to Rudden, who managed to direct a header into the net from close.
The first booking of the game came in the 21st minute as George Oakley tustled with Scott Harrison just outside of the box and was hauled down. Sean Welsh took the Free-kick on the far left but he couldn’t get the ball to dip back over the wall to threaten the keeper.
Caley Thistle continued to knock on the door via Aaron Doran.
Sean Welsh managed to nod a deep cross under pressure on the right hand side to the Captain and his attempt was struck low and hard. Falkirk’s Fasan managed to just keep the shot out with his right foot and it went out for a corner.
Leo Fasan would then have his heart in his throat again as Polworth took the corner short and whipped in an inswinging cross that was begging for a touch from a shirt in red and blue. The cross flew just wide of the post as ICTFC tried to get ahead again.
But Falkirk took advantage with a suckerpunch against the home team.
A long ball to Rudden was controlled past Rooney on the far left and the 18 year old worked it onto his right foot from a tight angle. His effort squirmed under Mark Ridgers and fortuitously bounced off the far post and in at the 36th minute. It was the striker’s seventh goal of the season and his second against the Caley Jags.
The last opportunity of the first half fell to Liam Polworth, whose shot from range took a knick on its way and gave Fasan a difficult question to answer; the Italian scrambled to keep it out.
Early into the second half, Shau Rooney swept a low cross to George Oakley from the right hand side and the Englishman stetched to meet it. Through a combination of him and his marker, the ball went over the bar.
For Falkirk shortly after, Zak Rudden collected a ball with his back to goal and set up Patton from the edge of the box. His shot curled cornerwards but Ridgers stretched to keep it out with his fingertips.
Eventually something had to give and the goal went to the home side.
George Oakley dragged the ball to the byline to put it out for a corner at the 60th minute. Joe Chalmers took it on the right hand side and it was met by the head of Shawn Rooney who directed it back towards goal. George Oakley stretched his neck from around the middle of the box to guide into the bottom right corner – bringing the scores to 2-2.
From then on, the Caley Jags looked to win the game, dominating possession for the rest of the match. Joe Chalmers could have finished off the game with a potential worldie from range. Substitute Charlie Trafford passed the ball into the middle for Chalmers and his left footed effort seemed to curl into the top corner, only for it to go wide of the target.
But at the death, Falkirk won the game during a last ditch free-kick. Paton hit a high ball from the left hand side and just as it looked to go out, Scott Harrison directed it goalwards and into the net. It was the last kick of the game, with the score ending Caley Thistle’s 25 game unbeaten run, extending from March.
ICTFC now face Edinburgh City in the Scottish Cup this Tuesday and leaders Ayr United on Friday night as they look to respond.
ICTFC: Ridgers, Rooney, Mckay, Donaldson, McCart, Chalmers, Welsh (Trafford 58′), Polworth, Walsh, Doran (White 58′), Oakley (MacGregor 84′)
Falkirk: Fasan, Harrison, McGhee, Brough, Kidd, Robson, Paton, Muirhead, Sammutt (Irving 58′), Petravicius (Haber 77′), Rudden (Lewis 90′)
Referee: Colin Steven
Watch the Highlights HERE and watch the reaction from John Robertson HERE