A 12 minute hat-trick from Anthony Stokes just before half-time and two yellow cards for Ian Black for kicking the ball away after the half-time whistle had gone, sum up this match. It was small consolation that John Rankin scored another cracker right at the death.
Official Club Historian Ian Broadfoot reports from the last match of 2006 which took place at the Falkirk Stadium.
FALKIRK 3-1 ICT
|30th December 2006||Falkirk Stadium, Falkirk|
|FALKIRK||3 (Stokes 33,37,45)|
Team: Lambers, Ross, Dodd, Uras, Barr, Milne (Twaddle 65), Cregg, Lima (Thomson 72), O'Donnell, Latapy (Stewart 78), Stokes
Subs: McManus, Craig, Scobbie & Higgins
|INVERNESS CALEDONIAN THISTLE||1 (Rankin 90)|
Brown, Tokely, Dods, Munro, Hastings, Rankin, Black, McBain, Morgan (Duncan 70), Wyness (McAllister 78), Bayne (McSwegan 76)
Subs: McCaffrey, Wilson, Sutherland & Fraser
|Man of the Match||Anthony Stokes (Falkirk)|
A disappointing end to 2006 for Caley Thistle and what a difference three days can make in football. The victory over Rangers will never be forgotten but the glow was dimmed somewhat by this defeat at the hands of Falkirk.
This was the Anthony Stokes show as the on-loan Arsenal youngster scored yet another hat-trick in a 13 minute spell.
The visitors were without the rested Barry Wilson and Alan Morgan came in for his first league start of the season. Goalkeeper Mark Brown made his 200th appearance in just five seasons. Falkirk were without striker Alan Gow due to flu and defender Cedric Uras made his debut.
Today was a massive disappointment after Wednesday night.
The visitors started well and in the fourth minute an Ian Black 25 yard free kick curled just wide. Darren Dods did well to track back and challenge Stokes in 20 minutes - the teenager did manage a shot but he was off balance and the ball went across the face of the goal.
In 28 minutes Grant Munro took the ball off Stokes in a dangerous position after a good Falkirk move involving Russell Latapy. On the half hour mark home ‘keeper Jeroen Lambers tipped over a 30 yard free kick from Morgan.
Stokes took over after that and scored his first in 33 minutes. Kenny Milne found Latapy and he sent a neat through pass which set Stokes up on a straight run to goal. He hit it past Brown then repeated the finish from a tight angle four minutes later after a one-two with Vito Lima. As half time approached Stokes completed his hat trick from close range after a cutback from Milne.
Half Time 3-0
After the half-time whistle Caley Thistle’s Ian Black incurred the wrath of the referee by kicking a ball away twice and receiving two yellow cards in succession. The first was clearly the match ball but some claim the second was a club warm-up ball. No matter the rights and wrongs of the dismissal it left the visitors to face the second half three goals and a man down.
The visitors battled on in the second half but they could have lost a fourth in 68 minutes when Darren Barr hit the bar from 20 yards. Brown parried a Lima shot from 12 yards in 70 minutes when another goal was a strong possibility. There was never going to be a realistic way back but in the last minute John Rankin restored some pride when he took a Gary McSwegan pass and sent a 20 yard dipping shot over the ‘keeper. This repeat of Rankin’s feat on Wednesday was merely a consolation and the points were left behind in Falkirk.
Full Time: 3-1
Results elsewhere led to a drop to tenth.