Pre-season round-up: Falkirk win first Highland test as Stenhousemuir and East Stirlingshire prepare for local derby

Goalkeeper Graham Bowman found himself playing up front for Falkirk against Fraserburgh on Monday evening
Goalkeeper Graham Bowman found himself playing up front for Falkirk against Fraserburgh on Monday evening

Falkirk won the first match of their Highland tour last night with a 1-0 victory against Fraserburgh at Bellslea Park.

The only goal of the game, which was played in baking hot conditions, came after 18 minutes when Jay Fulton stroked the ball home after being allowed too much time and space in the box by the home side.

Lyle Taylor, who has been the subject of several transfer bids in the past week, ran clear after 38 minutes but was hauled down on the edge of the box - a challenge that went unpunished by the referee.

The Bairns went close to scoring a second after the break with chances from Vaulks and Botti but in the end they had to settle for a one goal victory.

Perhaps the most notable incident in the second half was when Bairns reserve goalkeeper Graham Bowman was forced to play up front. Kyle Turnbull was taken off injured, and as Falkirk had no more available substitutes, it was left to the keeper to lead the line for the final ten minutes of the game.

On Saturday, a fine individual goal from Stephen Kingsley looked to have handed Falkirk victory against Stirling Albion at Forthbank, but some sloppy defending nine minutes from full-time allowed former Bairns striker Jordan White to snatch an equaliser for the home side.

Meanwhile, East Stirlingshire played their first pre-season match at the weekend when they took on Stranraer in a closed-doors game played at Ralston in Paisley.

A Chris Aitken penalty after 21 minutes was enough to hand Stranraer victory.

And at Ochilview on Saturday Albion Rovers emerged 1-0 winners against Stenhousemuir following a fine strike from trialist Liam Cusack shortly after the interval.

The Warriors are back in action tonight when they play neighbours East Stirlingshire in a friendly match this evening, kick-off 7.30 p.m.

For full match reports and reaction from all these matches, pick up Thursday’s edition of The Falkirk Herald.