MORTON boss Jim Duffy has told how he resisted the temptation to hook some of his Falkirk flops on Saturday because their character was on the line.

Duffy watched in disappointment as his Ton side were taken apart in brutal fashion, losing three goals in a 30-minute spell.

Aaron Muirhead scored from the penalty spot after just four minutes, before Andrew Nelson extended Falkirk’s lead after 19 minutes.

And Alex Jakubiak effectively wrapped up all three points for the Bairns with a well-taken finish just past the half hour mark.

That left Ton trailing 3-0 at the interval and with a mountain to climb. Midfielder Gary Harkins pulled one back for the visitors seconds before the final whistle.

But it was too little, too late, as Duffy’s side suffered a set-back to their promotion play-off hopes.

Duffy did have options at his disposal on the substitutes’ bench — including the likes of striker Gary Oliver and creative midfielder Frank Ross.

And he could have freshened things up at any point in the game by using any three subs.

But he kept the same players on the park after demanding they ‘grow a set’.

Duffy told Tele Sport: “We weren’t at the races in the first half. We have to be truthful about that and Falkirk took full advantage of it. 

“They really pressed us, worked us and probably sensed we didn’t start the game right.  

“We found ourselves chasing the game and when you chase the game against a team who’ve got pace on the counter attack, then you leave yourself wide open.

“The second half we changed it slightly; the shape. And it was more to do with the players themselves. 

“That’s part of the reason I didn’t make substitutions. 

“And I said to the players normally, when a team is playing as bad as that, you can make two or three substitutions at half-time.

“But for me it was a test of character for the players; to go out there and show they had a bit of bottle and they could grow a set - and I think they did. 

“In the second half it was a much more even contest. The players didn’t just buckle, they didn’t throw in the towel and that’s important because when you are not playing well, it’s easy enough just to give in and they didn’t give in.”

Duffy, though, insisted his side were the architects of their own downfall with the way they started Saturday’s game.

He explained: “We had too many players nowhere near the form that they can play and we were all over the place. Falkirk fully exploited that.”