Brechin City 0 Falkirk 3: Bairns safe progress

Lee Miller opened the scoring. Picture by Michael Gillen
Lee Miller opened the scoring. Picture by Michael Gillen

Falkirk will be seeded for tomorrow's Betfred Cup last 16 draw after carving win in Glebe Park.

Goals from Lee Miller, Joe McKee and Alex Harris ensured the Bairns' fourth win in four games of the league cup group stage and that flawless campaign will be rewarded with a place beside Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen St Johnstone and Ayr United as some of the seeded sides.

Falkirk were all smiles after another win and another clean sheet. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk were all smiles after another win and another clean sheet. Picture Michael Gillen.

The Betfred group stage has worked well for Peter Houston and rotating his squad. David Mitchell was given a chance to stake a claim for a more regular start ahead of Robbie Thomson, the current first-choice goalkeeper, at Brechin, where Kevin O'Hara and Scott Shepherd were other fringe players to benefit from game-time.

And no matter which combination the manager has chosen in the early stages of this season, he hasn’t been let-down.

He opted for a former Carlisle strike force at Glebe Park, with Lee Miller replacing Nathan Austin beside Rory Loy in attack and the former East Fife man withdrawn as a precaution after proving his worth with goals in the previous three competitive matches.

His replacement though kept that vein of form going as Miller slammed in the opener after some excellent pressing football from the Bairns.

Falkirk fans were in buoyant mood as part of the 712 crowd at Glebe Park. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Falkirk fans were in buoyant mood as part of the 712 crowd at Glebe Park. Picture: Michael Gillen.

Brechin, now a Ladbrokes Championship side, got in behind a couple of times but again as has been witnessed throughout this competition, the Bairns did not look like conceding.

Instead they pegged the home side back and at times Darren Dods’ side were left with eight outfield players behind the ball trying to keep out the away side.

Passes were swinging side to side with big diagonals and quick fire short moves, and the play-off winners couldn’t cope.

Alex Harris showed great skill on the right side to leave Willie Dyer stranded and then knocked a little reverse pass back for Lee Miller to slam the opener past Graeme Smith on the 20th minute.

Joe McKee scored his third in four games. Picture Michael Gillen.

Joe McKee scored his third in four games. Picture Michael Gillen.

Miller went close with a header cleared off the line by Dyer a little later while Rory Loy was also denied in the first half by Graeme Smith low at his post after a flamboyant effort from Myles Hippolyte was scuffed into his path.

Falkirk continued the passing game in the second half and a flowing move brought goal number two, with everything in their range of passing. Lee Miller raced up the right on the counter attack and moved play inside and across the park to Rory Loy on the left. The forward, who has yet to score on his return to the Bairns but not for the want of trying, played in Tony Gallagher on the overlap and a low cross from the youngster was tucked away by the on-coming Joe McKee.

Aaron Muirhead and Ally Love were both booked for an off-the-ball tangle on the edge of the Bairns penalty box and the home support began to anger towards ref Alan Neil;ands over the officiating and amount of fouls in the away side's favour.

However there was no quibbles over a stunning third for Falkirk swept in from some distance by Alex Harris and well worth a look after midnight on Falkirk TV.

Kevin O'Hara and Scott SHepherd were also given a late run out as Falkirk consigned their league rivals to a third defeat of the season, ahead of a return to Angus next month in the SPFL Championship proper.