Bray Wanderers 1 Falkirk 0

Will Vaulks of Falkirk challenges for the ball against Karl Monahan of Bray Wanderers during the friendly match between Bray Wanderers & Falkirk at Carlisle Grounds, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. 29 June 2016. Picture by Ian Sneddon
Will Vaulks of Falkirk challenges for the ball against Karl Monahan of Bray Wanderers during the friendly match between Bray Wanderers & Falkirk at Carlisle Grounds, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. 29 June 2016. Picture by Ian Sneddon

It was opening game defeat for Falkirk who got their 2016/17 pre-season campaign off to a disappointing start after going down 1-0 to Bray Wanderers.

Peter Houston handed debuts to new signings Liam Henderson, Luca Gasparotto and Lewis Kidd with Kevin O’Hara partnering Bob McHugh up front. There was a real mix of youth and experience in the Falkirk side with academy products such as Scott Shepherd and Tony Gallacher also getting a start.

Lee Miller of Falkirk flicks the ball towards goal during the friendly match between Bray Wanderers & Falkirk at Carlisle Grounds, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. 29 June 2016. Picture by Ian Sneddon

Lee Miller of Falkirk flicks the ball towards goal during the friendly match between Bray Wanderers & Falkirk at Carlisle Grounds, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. 29 June 2016. Picture by Ian Sneddon

Falkirk tried to use the pace of the two strikers coupled with Myles Hippolyte and Scott Shepherd to get in behind the Bray defence, however the hosts were equal to it and nullified much of the Bairns’ first half threat.

New signing, Luca Gasparotto came closest to a first half goal for Falkirk as he turned the ball wide from a Will Vaulks’ corner that was flicked on to the back post.

Despite Falkirk’s efforts Bray took the lead before the interval with Dean Kelly curling in a fine freekick after Liam Henderson brought down Dylan Connolly just over 20 yards from goal.

The second half was awash with changes as Falkirk looked to find the equaliser. Substitute, John Baird came closest in the early stages as he first fired over after Craig Sibbald intelligently robbed the Bray defence in a dangerous position.

Craig Sibbald of Falkirk challenges for the ball against Karl Monahan of Bray Wanderers during the friendly match between Bray Wanderers & Falkirk at Carlisle Grounds, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. 29 June 2016. Picture by Ian Sneddon

Craig Sibbald of Falkirk challenges for the ball against Karl Monahan of Bray Wanderers during the friendly match between Bray Wanderers & Falkirk at Carlisle Grounds, Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland. 29 June 2016. Picture by Ian Sneddon

The pressure continued right through the half and while Falkirk had more possession Bray striker, Ger Pender, who featured against the Bairns for Drogheda last season, stung the palms of Deniz Dogan Mehmet with a long range drive.

With the clock running down it looked like it just wasn’t going to be Falkirk’s day and that was proved right when, with the last kick of the ball, John Baird powered a strike over the bar after being picked out by Lee Miller.