Falkirk defeat Stranraer in second pre-season friendly outing

Falkirk narrowly defeated Stranraer 1-0 in a feisty pre-season encounter, with a well-worked goal from Aidan Nesbitt sealing the win.

The first chance of the match came from a Callumn Morrison low-ball into the box. Nesbitt and Gary Oliver both had shots cleared off the line by Stranraer’s Sam Ellis after the ball was fizzed into the danger area.

Then a tremendous piece of skill from Craig McGuffie saw the midfielder nutmeg two Stranraer players, before playing a one-two with Aidan Nesbitt that allowed the onrushing winger to slot home for the opener on 17 minutes.

The visitors were passengers in the match, but a delicate through-ball ten minutes before half time nearly saw them nearly equalise despite Falkirk’s dominance.

(Photos: Michael Gillen)

James Hilton fired his shot straight at Paddy Martin, however, and the goalkeeper pushed the ball away to safety.

They also went close just before the break when ex-Kilmarnock youngster Dean Hawkshaw fired an effort from the crossbar from range.

The second half was a typical friendly affair, with little happening in front of goal at either end.

Nesbitt could have doubled the Bairns advantage on the hour mark when he got away from his man on the edge of the box and shot at goal.

John McGlynn on the touchline

His curling effort bounced off both posts before going out for a goal kick.

Former Falkirk hitman and Stranraer assistant manager Darryl Duffy nearly levelled when his first touch caught out Martin in goal.

A looping header was inches away from crossing the line as the young stopper struggled to take hold of the ball.

The visitors were on top at this point and Craig Ross’ header from a corner arrowed wide of target on 68 minutes.

In a moment of madness, Ross was then shown a straight red for a shocking tackle. Leon McCann was booked for his reaction to the incident.

Summer signing Stephen McGinn then came on to make his debut with 15 minutes to go, replacing Craig McGuffie as the match petered out.

Nesbitt should have sealed the win when sent through on goal late on but he fired straight at the goalkeeper.