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Hibernian 0 Falkirk 1: Old hands again prove to be the difference

Shoes remained on feet and the chairs intact but in a comparatively tame outing at the home of Hibernian it is safe to say Jamie MacDonald did not make many new friends.

A veteran of 16 Edinburgh derbies, the Falkirk goalkeeper renewed hostilities with his former city rivals on Saturday and proved a barrier to their repeated attacks.

Point-blank saves to thrice deny Farid El Alagui, and Paul Heffernan, in the first half ensured that Rory Loy's back-heeled goal would be enough to settle the contest.

The former Hearts goalkeeper had conceded at Easter Road on three occasions in 10 visits, and there does seem to be something in the air down Leith way which brings out the best in the 28-year-old.

MacDonald has been around long enough to know what the correct response, straight out of the footballers' cliche handbook, should be to that. "The professional answer I'm supposed to give is probably that it doesn't matter and I treat every game the same," he smiled, before adding: "There is a bit of an extra buzz with a trip to Easter Road. It's been a happy hunting ground, it's a fantastic stadium and a big club. It is exactly the sort of game you look forward to.

"My reception was better than what I thought it would be. Mind you, after the last [derby] with Hearts at Tynecastle - with shoes and chairs and all sorts chucked at me - anything would be better than that."

Despite MacDonald's performance, it was 19-year-old Matthew Kennedy who received the man-of-the-match bubbly, having bamboozled Alan Maybury and delivered a host of crosses for El Alagui and Heffernan.

Their headers, however, were skewed wide as Hibs failed to find a way back into this engaging contest.

"It's great to get my first start and be named man of the match, but you'd always rather have three points," Kennedy said. "Any other day, we would have got them. We had a load of chances - enough for two or three games - but it wasn't to be for our strikers, who are usually such good finishers."

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