Montrose 1 Falkirk 3: Bairns are spot on

Photo: John Devlin. AYR, Somerset Park, Ramsdens Cup Second Round, Ayr Utd v Falkirk FC. Olumide Durojaiye. (DO)
Photo: John Devlin. AYR, Somerset Park, Ramsdens Cup Second Round, Ayr Utd v Falkirk FC. Olumide Durojaiye. (DO)

Falkirk lost the lead but won the tie as they came back to win at a cold Links Park.

Goals from Blair Alston, Alex Cooper and Scott Shepherd were enough for Peter Houston’s side in the first round of the Communities League Cup.

It had been a slow start by Falkirk on a very poor artificial surface. Passes dragged and studs were caught - but the pitch was not badly damaged by the smoke bomb lobbed onto the penalty area at the visitors end of Links Park following the equaliser.

Falkirk were far from ‘smoking’ in the early exchanges and the Bairns were given an indication of Montrose’s capabilities by a Ross McCord strike that whizzed narrowly above Jamie Macdonald’s top corner.

Stewart Mckenzie had to parry a David McCracken header - off the back of Botti Biabi - but both attempts kept the slate clean until the home side took the lead with a freak goal.

Jamie Macdonald pushed a Stephen Day cross into the air after it had buffeted on the swirling cold wind off the North Sea. The goalkeeper claimed the ball was behind for a corner but ref John Beaton waved play-on and the ball was knocked in at the back-post by Garry Wood.

The lead did not last long. A sumptious ball forward from Alex Cooper was charged down by Ollie Durojaiye and there was no stopped the Nigerian youth international despite vain attempts to block his path. He bundled his way into the box but as he moved to shoot he was finally toppled and gave Blair Alsotn the chance to score his third of the season from the penalty spot.

The game was then held up as a smoke flare was lobbed onto the pitch and allowed to extinguish before being removed from the far side Jamie Macdonald’s penalty area.

Falkirk were still not in their stride but a lovely goal, from a lovely Conor McGrandles pass, from Alex Cooper ensured a half-time lead.

They swapped places on the hour with Cooper the supplier after being released by Blair Alston though and McGrandles’ shot curled high onto the crossbar and clear.

Durojaiye could have also conceded a penalty when he hip-checked McCord in the box to shield the ball, but John Beaton ignored the clamour for a spot-kick.

Falkirk had been slow to start the second-half too and particularly hesitant in defence, though Montrose couldn’t take advantage.

Once Garry Wood had blasted a clear strike over the bar from 16 yards the Bairns relaxed and looked comfortable winners and rounded it off with a goal five minutes from time when Scott Shepherd tapped in McGrandles’ cut-back.

Elsewhere Stenhousemuir won at Airdrie but East Stirlingshire lost at home to Ayr United.