sport

Hamilton earn Falkirk draw

Mark Beck grabbed a late equaliser as Falkirk salvaged a 1-1 draw from their Scottish Premiership first-leg play-off clash with Hamilton.

Beck's 80th-minute goal levelled matters at Falkirk Stadium after Darian Mackinnon had given the visitors the lead.

Mackinnon brilliantly curled home from just outside the box for the Accies who more than held their own in this away tie.

But back came the hosts and, with time running out, Rory Loy provided the assist for Beck to finish off from close range.

In front of more than 4,000 spectators, both keepers were called into action in a lively end-to-end contest.

Falkirk keeper Michael McGovern was particularly busy and, in the opening 10 minutes, did well to deny Jason Scotland and Ali Crawford.

At the other end Hamilton's Kevin Cuthbert saved a Mark Millar free-kick, with the visiting keeper also diving to his left to deny Beck.

And 10 minutes before the break, Martin Canning almost broke the deadlock for Hamilton with a header that was cleared off the line.

Five minutes later Conor McGrandles came mighty close for the Bairns with a header which crashed against the bar.

The early moments of the second half were less eventful until Cuthbert pulled off an excellent one-handed save from Loy.

After Mackinnon had opened the scoring, Louis Longridge nearly added a second for Hamilton when his shot was tipped over by McGovern.

Although Beck forced an equaliser for Falkirk, it was the visitors who almost snatched a late winner when McGovern was equal to Mickael Antoine-Curier who failed to take advantage of a free-header in second half injury time.

The second leg at New Douglas Park takes place this Sunday with the winner of the tie facing a brace of games with Hibs to decide who plays in the Scottish Premiership next season.