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THE ESSENTIAL PRE MATCH BRIEFING FROM FALKIRK TV

Ross County v Falkirk Saturday 17th March 2012 Victoria Park Kick-off 3pm


VIEW FROM THE DUGOUTS Steven Pressley: “I am looking for whoever comes in to view it as an opportunity to grab a starting jersey. “County deserve a lot of credit for coming through their recent run of two games a week with their unbeaten record still intact. “Only two weeks ago we were level on points, however they have turned that around very quickly. “They have shown great strength but we are looking to be the side that ends their 25-game run without a defeat.”

P.4 Jay Fulton Interview

Ross County Manager Derek Adams: “This should be a really good game of football watched by a big crowd between two sides who like to attack.

P.6 Last Meeting “There is, however, no added significance to the game in terms of the First Division title and we will treat it that way. “We will look to go out and win the three points and take things from there.”

The Enclosure: Issue 20 Edited and Produced by Russell Croal & Craig Turnbull All images © Ian Sneddon 2

ROSS COUNTY v FALKIRK 17th March 2012

P.8 Match Preview


THE MATCH

TEAM NEWS Iain Vigurs is suspended for County. Defender David McNamee remains out with a broken wrist but Marc Fitzpatrick is set to return after a knee injury.

Michael FRASER Joe MALIN

Michael McGOVERN Graham BOWMAN

Scott BOYD Gary MILLER Scott MORRISON Jonathan FLYNN Grant MUNRO

Kieran DUFFIE Tam SCOBBIE Stephen KINGSLEY Darren DODS Murray WALLACE Rhys BENNETT

Richard BRITTAIN Stuart KETTLEWELL Paul LAWSON Iain VIGURS Mark COCORAN Marc FITZPATRICK Rocco QUINN Russell DUNCAN

Stewart MURDOCH Blair ALSTON Mark MILLAR Jay FULTON Ryan MILLAR Willie GIBSON

Kurtis BYRNE Steven CRAIG Sam MORROW Gary WOOD Michael GARDINE Colin McMENAMIN

TEAM NEWS Darren Dods and Kieran Duffie are both suspended this afternoon.

Farid El ALAGUI David WEATHERSTON Craig SIBBALD Jordan WHITE

REFEREE Alan Muir ASSISTANTS Brian McGarry & Graham Fraser

www.falkirkfc.tv

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THE INTERVIEW

Jay Fulton discusses life in the first team >>>

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ROSS COUNTY v FALKIRK 17th March 2012


THE INTERVIEW

Russell Croal

@FTVRussell

ay Fulton is yet another product of the Falkirk Academy who has burst onto the scene and has become an integral part of the Bairns midfield this season. The seventeen year old caught up with The Falkirk Football Programme after last Saturday’s match with Partick Thistle. “The result is a bit of disappointment but we are happy that we have kept our unbeaten home record going.” One moment in particular saw Jay display great skill to keep possession and deliver the cross into El Alagui. We had to ask, how do you get out of those spaces? “I don’t know, it just comes naturally! I just took a few touches and got away from him, but I think I should have done better.” Despite preferring to play in the centre of midfield, Jay admitted he was just happy to play, whatever position he is asked to play in. “I would like to play more in the middle but if I’m in the team then I’m happy. I’m really just happy to be in the team getting games.” “I’ve started the last four games, so hopefully I can keep my place against Ross County.” Asked who is his biggest critic Jay answered, “my Dad, easily. He is always there - he’s first to give me praise and also first to get on my back. But it is good having him there to keep me right. “I joined the Academy two or three years ago and to be in playing with the first team so regularly at

my age is brilliant. It is completely unexpected but it is great to get the chance.” It was quite a physical game last Saturday and Jay knows it will have been good for his development: “It is good to play in different types of games. It allows me to learn to adapt to different styles and means I’ll be ready for bigger games in the future.” Despite the points difference he feels we need to keep going in the title race until it is mathematically impossible. “We’ve got to keep believing. We will go to Dingwall on Saturday and try and get the three points and put some pressure back on them.” Whatever happens between now and the 5th May, it has been a magnificent season, as Jay concluded: “It has been brilliant. There has been so many big matches. We’ve had the Rangers and Celtic games, and we still have a Cup Final to look forward to.”

www.falkirkfc.tv

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THE MATCH

Falkirk Ross County

1 1

Monday 26th December 2011 The Falkirk Stadium Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, Scobbie, Dods, Wallace, J.Fulton, Weatherston, Millar, El Alagui, Higginbotham (s.89 Bennett), Sibbald (s.75 Alston) Subs: Kingsley, D.Fulton, Bowman Scorer: Duffie (77) Ross County: Fraser, Miller, Morrison, Boyd, Munro, Lawson, Gardyne (s.56 Quinn), Kettlewell, McMenamin, Brittain (s.82 Byrne), Vigurs (s.82 Corcoran) Subs: Craig, Malin

GOAL! Kieran Duffie rifles home the opener

Scorer: McMenamin (94) Attendance: 4,383

Dods shows some nifty footwork in the County box but curls over

RESULTS

TOTAL

%

Ross County

9

30.00

Falkirk

14

46.67

Draws

7

23.33

TOTAL

Average per game

Ross County

37

1.23

Falkirk

41

1.37

GOALS

RECORD WIN RECORD DEFEAT

Falkirk

4-2

Ross County

2001/02

Ross County

4-2

Falkirk

2001/02

Falkirk

4-2

Ross County

2001/02

HIGHEST AGGREGATE

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A bitter blow as Colin McMenamin scores in the dying seconds

ROSS COUNTY v FALKIRK 17th March 2012


THE LEAGUE All statistics on this page include Irn Bru First Division matches only and are correct as at 16th March 2012 LAST WEEK’S RESULTS

P

W

D

L

GF GA GD

PTS

Ross County

27

15

11

1

48

23

25

56

Falkirk

27

11

11

5

40

30

10

44

Dundee

26

11

8

7

38

27

11

41

Partick Thistle

27

9

8

10

33

29

4

35

Livingston

26

9

8

9

39

39

0

35

Hamilton

27

9

6

12

34

38

-4

33

Morton

27

8

8

11

30

43

-13

32

Raith Rovers

27

7

7

13

30

36

-6

28

Ayr United

25

6

9

10

28

44

-16

27

QOS

27

6

8

13

29

40

-11

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Falkirk 1 Partick Thistle 1 Hamilton 0 Ross County 2 Morton 1 Livingston 3 Queen of the South 1 Raith Rovers 0 Ross County 2 Morton 2 TODAY’S FIXTURES Livingston v Hamilton Morton v Dundee Queen of the South v Partick Thistle Raith Rovers v Ayr United Ross County v Falkirk NEXT FIXTURES (20th March) Falkirk v Morton Hamilton v Dundee

1st DIVISION TOP SCORERS PLAYER

TEAM

GOALS

Farid El Alagui

Falkirk

14

Colin McMenamin

Ross County

11

Kris Doohlan

Partick Thistle

10

Mark McNulty

Livingston

10

John Baird

Raith Rovers

9

1st DIVISION MOST BOOKINGS PLAYER

TEAM

Richard Brittain

Ross County

8

Farid El Alagui

Falkirk

8

Simon Mensing

Hamilton

8

Iain Vigurs

Ross County

8

Andy Geggan

Ayr United

7

1st DIVISION RED CARDS PLAYER

TEAM

Mark McLaughlin

Hamilton

2

Stephen O’Donnell

Dundee

2

Craig Reid

Queen of the South

2

Alan Archibald

Partick Thistle

1

Rory Boulding

Livingston

1

1st Division Statistics provided by Soccerbase.com

www.falkirkfc.tv

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THE PREVIEW

DODS AND DUFFIE MISSING FOR TOP OF THE TABLE CLASH AGAINST THE STAGGIES Ross County v Falkirk: Match Preview

Craig Turnbull

@CTTurnbull

t may well be a long road up the A9 to Dingwall but the parallels of this journey and Falkirk’s season are uncanny. The Bairns were expected to fair no better than consolidating their position in the league at the start of this campaign, but they have climbed to the upper echelons of the First Division. Manager Steven Pressley has transformed his young players from cannon fodder into a force to be reckoned with. Today’s trip to Ross County, who are at the summit by a mountainous 12 points, is an even bigger challenge to the Bairns. The season started off in a less than convincing style of which we have become accustomed to with the Staggies. A goalless draw at home to Morton followed by a 5-1 thumping off Hamilton, wouldn’t have been the desired start for the title challengers. However, it was not long before they turned that around in their next outing against Queen of the South. Though, few would have envisaged then that County would go on an incredible 25 game unbeaten run. That said it would be far- fetched to suggest that Ross County are a superior side to other First Division clubs, but the mentality of” let’s not get

beat” is clear for everyone to see. Of those 25 games, Derek Adams’ side have drawn 10 which nearly equates to the points gap between the Bairns and the Staggies before this afternoon’s kick off. But the encounter for Falkirk is made all the more difficult given the notable absentees at the back. Darren Dods and Kieran Duffie will both miss out because of suspension. Dods has been in exceptional form this season. His anticipation and reading of the game covers his lack of pace and rarely does he get caught in possession. Duffie, meanwhile has been an ever present figure in the first team and his marauding runs from full-back ensure Falkirk always have something to offer from the channels. His penetrating crosses into Farid El Alagui have been a signature move this season and have provided much of the success Pressley’s side have enjoyed.

Murray Wallace got on the score sheet on our last trip to Victoria Park

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ROSS COUNTY v FALKIRK 17th March 2012

It looks very likely then that Stephen Kingsley will


THE INTERVIEW get an opportunity to shine. Having been confined to the periphery of the Falkirk first team, because of an injury against Brechin which side-lined him for three months, Kingsley has found his chances hard to come by. His comeback performance up at Tannadice against Dundee United in the League Cup quarterfinals was quite remarkable given that he came in from the wilderness. His fantastic display showed a maturity which belied his years. It will take another performance of that calibre to prevent County wingers from causing damage to Falkirk’s rear guard but if that it is breached – they have Michael McGovern in goal. McGovern’s penalty save to deny Partick Thistle’s Paul Cairney resulting in the spoils being shared was the archetypal performance the Bairns have come to expect from their no 1 goalkeeper. The Northern Irishman has had 10 shut outs in the league this season and has come to the Bairns rescue numerous times when called upon. Ross County will be without Iain Vigurs; the central midfielder has played a prominent role in the Staggies rise to the top and will be suspended for this game. The 23-year-old is likely to be replaced by Rocco Quinn or Marc Corcoran, with the latter being preferred to exploit Duffie’s absence.

Ryan Flynn scored the only goal of the game at Dingwall that day.

This will be the fourth encounter between the two this season. Two draws and a Ross County victory have resulted so far, the Bairns have scored in their last seven matches against the hosts but while that may seem impressive, Falkirk have not beat Ross County since August 2010. Winger

More recently, a last minute County equaliser on Boxing Day snatched a point for Derek Adams’ side in the latest battle. However, the reverse fixture up at Dingwall in November was much more convincing as the Staggies ran out comfortable 3-1 winners. The hosts have not been beaten at home all season and Pressley has admitted that the title is now County’s to lose, it looks as though Falkirk will be facing another uphill battle today. Prediction: Ross County 1-1 Falkirk Form: Falkirk D-L-W-D-W Ross County D-W-W-W-W

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Issue 20 - Ross County v Falkirk