JIM Duffy insists Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Falkirk at Cappielow shows just how close the two sides are in the race for a play-off place in the Ladbrokes Championship.

Thomas O’Ware opened the scoring with a fine header before James Craigen and Aaron Muirhead turned the game on its head. 

Ross Forbes levelled things up to end the scoring, but there were still a number of key talking points outwith the four goals scored in Greenock.

Duffy says the football on show was ‘excellent’ from both outfits, and he reckons the result just goes to show that there is very little between Ton and the Bairns this season.

He said: “It was a good game with a lot of opportunities during it for both sides.”

“There were a couple of contentious decisions and some good goals.

“So, overall I thought it was an excellent football match and I think the fact that we are evenly matched on points and where we are in the league, I think the game re-emphasised that. How close we are, there isn’t much between us.”

Ton were denied a second goal not long after their opener when Lawrence Shankland tapped home for what looked like a clean 2-0 lead for the Greenock men.

But referee Greg Aitken blew for a handball offence against the striker, and Duffy believes that moment was pivotal in the game. The Bairns were denied a second goal in similar circumstances on half-time, and Duffy admits that Ton could have had a break from that decision.

He continued: “At 1-0 there wasn’t much in it and then there was, I felt, a pivotal moment in the game when our goal was chalked off.

“We’ve asked around and one or two people are saying that it’s a very harsh decision. But if you get that and it goes 2-0, I think it’s a different game.

“Then right at half-time there’s a goal chalked off [for Falkirk], the referee has said it’s handball and couldn’t see it, but if it is, you get the break then.

“It fluctuated the game back and forward, but overall, over the balance of 90 minutes and the balance of chances, maybe a draw was a fair enough result.”

When asked about a potential second yellow card for Falkirk’s Myles Hippolyte for a foul on Forbes in the second half, Duffy replied: “To be honest, there were a few decisions that I didn’t agree with, but I’m not going to go with anything specific like that. 

“There’s tackles happen in the game and the referee makes his call, it’s rare that managers agree with them anyway.

“I think the game was a good game rather than talking about fouls. The game was terrific, four goals, we’ve hit the bar, their keeper has had a couple of great saves, our keeper has made a couple of great saves.

“If you can’t write enough positive stuff about a game like that, you’re struggling.”