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FALKIRK’S victory over St Johnstone, together with Clyde’s demolition at home by Hamilton, took the Bairns another giant stride towards securing the Scottish Premierleague status that has cruelly eluded them until now.


A coronation is now on the cards at home in front of their own fans against Ross County next week, and the new North Stand should be open and full for the occasion.

On what must currently be the truest playing surface in the Scottish game, it was the 20th minute before the Bairns mounted an attack worthy of the name, Russell Latapy releasing Daniel McBreen through the inside-left channel, but the striker tamely struck the side netting.

Five minutes later, Saints’ ex-Rangers striker Peter MacDonald was one-on-one with Falkirk’s veteran player-boss John Hughes, but chose to shoot from distance rather than test the 40-year-old’s pace and resolve.

The mediocrity, if not the deadlock, was broken ten minutes from the interval with a moment of magic that deserved a goal, a 15-yard volley that struck the outside of Samson’s post.

McBreen was simply finding his range. A minute later, he scored the opener, taking an incisive pass from Neil Scally and planting an unstoppable shot beyond Sampson.

Six minutes into the second period, Latapy made the admission money worthwhile with a special goal. Picking up a McPherson throw-in 12 yards out, the Trinidadian cut inside leaving a trail of defenders in his wake before firing low to Samson’s left from the just wide of the penalty spot.

Latapy proceeded to orchestrate a masterclass, and midway through the second-half, Darryl Duffy got in on the act after a comedy of errors in the Saints defence, with a snap-shot goal from ten yards.

Thankfully, though, there was no vertically-challenged invective from Saints boss John Connolly, although, in truth, his team were as outclassed as Carlos Alberto’s was against England.

Falkirk: Ferguson, Scally, McPherson, MacKenzie, Hughes (Campbell, 65), James, O’Neil (Marshall, 64), McStay (Barr, 66), McBreen, Latapy, Duffy. Subs not used: Thomson, Hill

St Johnstone: Samson, Cowan, Dyer, Hannah, Anderson, Maxwell, McCann, McManus, (Baxter, 70), MacDonald, Sloan (Dobbie, 55), McAnespie (Forsyth, 88). Subs not used: Stevenson, Cuthbert.

Referee: Referee: K Clark