Falkirk 1-0 Stranraer: Debutant McManus strike decisive

Declan McManus struck decisively on his debut to give Falkirk a narrow victory against Stranraer in the Betfred Cup.

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 10:41 pm
Falkirk celebrate McManus goal (picture: Michael Gillen)

The striker had only signed in the afternoon before the game, but wasted no time in making an instant impression as he fired under Currie after nine minutes.

Falkirk suffered a late scare in a game which they should have put beyond doubt long before Dangana's header came back off the bar in the final few minutes.

The Bairns remain unbeaten in the Betfred Cup and head to Ayr United on Saturday.

Ray McKinnon made four changes to the side which drew with Livingston at the weekend with Denny Johnstone given a start and it was his play which allowed McManus the chance to open his account on nine minutes as he slotted under Currie.

Falkirk continued to push for a second but they did not create much in the way of clear cut chances though Connolly brought out a good save from Currie before Telfer narrowly fired wide.

It was almost too comfortable for the Bairns and they were nearly punished for a lapse in concentration at the back as Ryan Thompson was presented the ball but it took even him by surprise as he shot tamely at Mutch in goal.

Stranraer almost levelled after the restart when Durnan missed his header from a corner with the ball falling to Cummins but his shot was blocked.

An embarrassing mix up at the back almost cost Falkirk dear as Robbie Mutch and Paul Dixon got their lines of communication crossed but to the relief of the fans the ball passed back trundled wide of the post.

Buchanan urged his side to lift it and McManus almost grabbed his second but was denied by an excellent intervention by Hamill before Connolly stung the palms of Currie moments later.

Substitute Conor Sammon came close to extending the advantage, as the Bairns looked to kill the game, when he rose to meet Dixon's delivery but Currie thwarted them again.

Falkirk struggled to put Stranraer away and it almost came back to haunt them as Thompson went close before Dangana hit the bar with a header.