Three goals for Falkirk see off Clyde in League Cup

Picture Lisa McPhillips 04/08/13. ALLOA. Recreation Park. Falkirk v Clyde. League Cup first round.
Picture Lisa McPhillips 04/08/13. ALLOA. Recreation Park. Falkirk v Clyde. League Cup first round.

Goals from Blair Alston, Phil Roberts and Thomas Grant eventually put Falkirk in the second round of the Scottish League Cup.

The Bairns left it late before seeing off Jim Duffy’s Clyde side, and the visitors to the club’s temporary home of Recreation Park in Alloa could have changed the game with a variety of threatening attacks.

But it was Falkirk who won, sparked into life on 73 minutes by Blair Aslton’s free-kick.

Phil Roberts showed composure to stroke number two in and the laid on Thomas Grant for the third.

The Bairns have been using this synthetic surface throughout pre-season with work underway at The Falkirk Stadium to install a new plastic pitch there. Although the surface is ready, a precautionary schedule and early arrangements of meant any home games would be played at The Recs or the home of opponents Clyde.

The first real opportunity for Falkirk came in the 13th minute. A neat one-two- between latest signing Rory Loy and Roberts saw the former knock the ball at Nik Rajovic and the goalkeeper saved with his legs to ensure no rebound for the ex-Arsenal man. Loy squandered another chance close in by blasting into the terracing on the 15 minute mark.

Clyde hadn’t tested Michael McGovern in the opening 28 minutes, but Kieran McDonald the left back took matters on and raced down the left flank shrugging off Kieran Duffie, Conor McGrandles and Will Vaulks before crossing to the on-coming Gavin Brown who volleyed against the post with McGovern rooted to the spot. Another worrying moment for the goalkeeper came when Ollie Durojaiye miscontrolled his short goal-kick and John Sweeney raced in to nick it off the midfielder’s toe. A return pass from Michael Daly was cut out by McGovern flying through the air before it could reach Sweeney.

Clyde had a third chance to open the scoring with a shot from Ryan MacBeth deflected wide, but the final chance of the first half fell to Falkirk as Phil Roberts twisted around three defenders before shooting straight at Marsh sliding in for the block.

Ten minutes into the second half Roberts had a shot deflected wide by goalkeeper Rajovic before Blair Alston replaced Sibbald.

Immediately Clyde pressed forward and in a copycat move of how they scored in the previous game, Sweeney went down the left and Kevin Watt was inches from poking beyond McGovern. On the left again on the 65th minute substitute Stefan McCluskey took his first touches and cutback for Ryan MacBeth but the midfielder screwed the ball wide.

Falkirk nerves were significantly eased on 73 minutes when Alston took a free-kick for Ryan Frances’ foul on Roberts. The substitute curled the ball into the corner from 20 yards and lifted the spectre of extra-time from Recreation Park.

A sweeping move from Kieran Duffie’s charge forward through Loy and Grant across field to Roberts left the ex-Arsenal man a composed finish from his first competitive Bairns goal, and he stroked it under Rajovic after 78 minutes.

Roberts found himself in the same position after being put through by Grant again, but instead of sealing a double, he paused and returned the pass for Grant right infront of goal to thump into the net from 10 yards. It was his last action and he left the field for Michael Martin’s senior football debut.