Falkirk fall to defeat in opening friendly against Kilmarnock

Over 2,000 of the Bairns faithful turned out on Friday night to honour club legend Kevin McAllister, with the South Stand’s renaming being marked with a friendly against Kilmarnock, who they faced in the final of their famous 1997 Scottish Cup run – which ‘Crunchie’ starred in.

Doubles from Ash Taylor and Innes Cameron consigned a depleted Falkirk side to a 4-1 defeat on the night.

John McGlynn’s depleted side started the match strongly with the hosts lining-up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, with recent signing Gary Oliver up top on his own.

The Ayrshire visitors opened the scoring, with towering centre-back Ash Taylor powering home a header on 13 minutes to give them an early lead.

Brad McKay powered home a header to equaliser for Falkirk in the first half (Photos: Michael Gillen)

However the Bairns, with an air of confidence about them, battled back straight away.

They were lucky when Taylor was denied another headed goal by PJ Morrison, who made a superb save - but they soon levelled the match through Brad McKay.

With 26 minutes on the clock, the much-maligned defender showed he has a new lease of life this campaign, getting on the end of a set piece to divert the ball past Zach Hemming.

Aidan Nesbitt then went close when he just missed a brilliant cross from Sean Mackie from the left-hand side.

Manager John McGlynn on the touchline

Falkirk’s trialist in midfield was having a good game too, winning a number of fouls against the likes of experienced international Kyle Lafferty.

After the break, McGlynn’s continued their good work. Oliver was nearly one-on-one with Hemming on the hour mark, but Rangers loanee Lewis Mayo made a last-ditch tackle at the key moment.

The visitors had their first effort of the half moments later when Oli Shaw blasted wide from outside the box.

Lafferty was having a quiet match by his standards and he fired a free-kick over the bar before a flurry of substitutions came from both sides.

Club legend Alex Totten was on hand to present Kevin McAllister a gift as the South Stand was renamed in his honour

Kilmarnock took the lead on 80 minutes when Innes Cameron was in the right place at the right time.

The forward peeled away at the back post area and headed home a cross into the bottom corner to put them ahead.

Cameron then doubled his tally with another close-range strike to make it three, before Taylor doubled his just before the final whistle to make it 4-1.

Despite the scoreline, it was a mainly positive showing from the Bairns in what was McGlynn’s first match in charge.

Craig McGuffie looks to beat Fraser Murray to the ball