Falkirk 3-0 East Kilbride: Young Bairns side ease into next round of SPFL Trust Trophy

A youthful Falkirk side comfortabley secured passage into the second round of the SPFL Trust Trophy with a 3-0 win over Lowland League side East Kilbride at the Falkirk Stadium.

By Martyn Simpson
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 10:16 pm
Paddy Martin made his Falkirk debut and save a late penalty to keep a clean sheet
Paddy Martin made his Falkirk debut and save a late penalty to keep a clean sheet

Head coach Paul Sheerin, as expected, made several changes to the side that beat Peterhead 2-1 in the previous games and new loan signing Ernaldo Krasniqi and goalkeeper Paddy Martin both made their Bairns’ debuts.

The match started at a quick pace and Greig Stewart flashed the first effort of the game over the bar after a good break away by the visitors in the second minute.

However, the young Bairns side grew into the match and Jaime Wilson won a free kick right on the edge of the penalty are on 17 minutes but Aidan Nesbitt’s effort easily cleared the bar.

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Steven Old deflected Aiden Nesbitt's cross into his own net for the opener

The hosts had a big chance on 27 minutes when Seb Ross broke into the box from the left flank and had Ompreon, Wilson and Nesbitt queuing up in the middle for a tap in but opted for the shot rather than the cross and EK keeper Jacob Kean was able to block.

They didn't have to wait long for the breakthrough though as it came just minutes later when Nebitt burst into the box from the right and cut it back across goal with Ross in the middle but it was Steven Old at the near post who knocked it beyond his own keeper from close range.

The hosts pushed for a second and Ross hit a terrific effort from 25 yards on 33 minutes but Kean was equal to it and pulled off an equally terrific save to touch it over the bar.

East Kilbride looked like they had an equaliser ten minutes after the break as veteran striker Chris Erskine pulled the trigger on a low drive from 20 yards but he was denied by a brilliant save from Paddy Martin who got down well and got a strong hand to the ball to turn it around the post.

Aidan Keena scored directly from a free kick to bag his first goal of the season

From the resultant corner the Bairns dealt with the danger and broke up the park where an incredible bit of skill from Seb Ross gave them a 2-0 lead as the midfielder saw Kean off his line and chipped it over the keeper from 20 yards.

Aidan Keena came on for Wilson midway through the half and was immediately involved in the action as he got on the end of fellow sub Charlie Telfer's ball over the top and was pulled down on the edge of the area by Mark McLuckie.

Amazingly, referee Lorraine Watson didn't even brandish a yellow card for what looked like a straight red all day long but it didn't matter to Keena who dusted himself down and drove the free kick low into the bottom corner for his first goal of the season on 71 minutes.

Ben Weekes had looked sharp for the Bairns all game and came close to getting on the score sheet a he collected Telfer’s reverse pass inside the area, turned and dragged a shot just wide of the far post.

Paddy Martin made two terrific saves in the second half including from an EK penalty for a debut clean sheet

The visitors had a chance to pull a goal back on 81 minutes when they won a soft penalty as Gio Vezza went down under the challenge of MacKenzie Lemon.

Erskine stepped up to take the spot kick but Martin was able to keep his clean sheet intact as he dived to hi right and blocked the ball away.

From there the hosts were able to see out the match and set up a second round tie with Kilmarnock at Rugby Park in October.

Right now, attentions turn to Airdrie this Saturday with a number of players having put their hand up for selection.