Falkirk midfielder Craig Sibbald hails John Baird as understanding leads to Dunfermline win

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CRAIG Sibbald insists his derby-day opener was down to a telepathic understanding he enjoys with Falkirk team-mate John Baird.

Sibbald sent the Bairns on their way to a wildly-celebrated 2-1 win over bitter rivals Dunfermline with his 27th-minute breakthrough and Myles Hippolyte then added a second shortly after the interval.

Peter Houston’s men should have been further out of sight before former Falkirk fans’ favourite Farid El Alagui pulled one back with 15 minutes remaining.

But the home side held on for the three points, despite a couple of nervy moments, and stretched their unbeaten run in Dunfermline derbies to seven matches.

And Sibbald, a boyhood Bairns supporter, was thrilled to play a vital part in the victory.

He said: “It was great to score in front of the fans.

“It was a 1-2 with me and Bairdy. We do it in training – we make eye contact and try to play each other in.

“So, I knew he was going to play me in and it was a perfect weight.

“I got smashed from their keeper but you take that when it goes in the back of the net.

“I saw him coming but you don’t really notice it, you just want to get the ball in the net – and you can’t feel it when the ball’s in the net.

EYE CONTACT

“In training, me and Bairdy just look at each other and we know when to give it to each other.

“He said to me before the game: ‘Just make eye contact and I’ll be there’ and that’s what we did.”

Saturday’s meeting was the first in the league between the sides in over three and a half years and a bumper crowd revelled in the return of the fixture.

Houston taught his players in the build-up of the importance of victory but Sibbald, who has been a fan at clashes with the Pars in the past, did not need the lesson.

He added: “It was special. With the atmosphere, it was a good game to play in and I was happy to get the first goal and it set us on our way.

“It definitely felt like there was more at stake. It was the first league game against Dunfermline in a while, so we knew it would be intense.

“It was, the full game. It was 100 miles an hour and it must have been good game to watch for the fans.

“That’s what you want, that’s what you want to play in, and all the boys were happy with the result.”

@IainCollin

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