Falkirk survived a late scare against former manager Jim Duffy’s Clyde to secure a deserved place in the second round of the Ramsdens Cup.
Goals from Blair Alston and Conor McGrandles sealed victory for the Bairns, who were pulled back by Stefan McCluskey’s equaliser, and survived a late fright from Ryan MacBeth when the midfielder rattled the post.
The first half was poor and brought very little n terms of Goalmouth action for either side. Jay Fulton, in a Falkirk side that included Kyle Turnbull, Ollie Durojaiye and Phil Roberts making their competitive Falkirk debuts, hit the roof of the net with a dipping half-volley.
Slow starts have been symptomatic of Falkirk’s pre-season and a trait Gary Holt has been keen to eradicate. thou the Game was lacklustre the Bairns application could have brought them several goals aside from Fulton’s near miss.
Roberts should have scored his second Falkirk goal in as many weeks by turning trialist David Marsh on the halfway line and sprinting to the edge of the box before blasting wildly over the bad.
Luke Leahy also had two chances ruled out for offside before the break where again, as in previous games with Dumbarton and Dunfermline, everything changed for Falkirk.
Three minutes after the restart Blair Alston scored a side-foot volley after Leahy pass spun off Marsh and into the midfielder’s path for his third consecutive goal in a cup tie.
The lead lasted a quarter of an our and though Falkirk looked dangerous, it was Clyde who equalised.
Roberts was robbed of the ball on midfield by John Sweeney who fed Stuart McColm on the left wing, a low cross seemed to be diverted through Michael McGovern’s legs by the slightest of touches by Stefan McCluskey.
Falkirk responded immediately when Conor McGrandles rose highest to head Leahy’s corner in three minutes later.
Phil Roberts should have given Leahy a strike of his own after two lay-offs but after sprinting 50 yards and spinning Marsh again on the by-line he opted to shoot from an acute angle rather than square to the Englishman.
Stephen Kingsley skimmed the crossbar with a 30yard rocket as Falkirk sought to kill the game off but the third goal didn’t come.
Instead they survived McBeth rattling the post before racing upfield and Roberts doing likewise from close range before Iain Brines called time on a much improved second half.