Turriff United 2 Falkirk 4: Bairns round off pre-season tour on a high but Lyle Taylor misses out

Ryan Blair was on the scoresheet for Falkirk as the Bairns wrapped up their pre-season tour with another win
Ryan Blair was on the scoresheet for Falkirk as the Bairns wrapped up their pre-season tour with another win
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Falkirk ended their Aberdeenshire tour unbeaten after a young Bairns side saw off their ambitious Highland League opponents - but one man who didn’t feature was striker Lyle Taylor.

The Bairns frontman didn’t feature against Turriff and has been linked with a move this week to Sheffield United.

Gary Holt’s team could scarcely have made a worse start to Saturday’s friendly match at Turriff as they went a goal down within a minute of kick-off.

The ball fell to the home side’s portly midfielder Mike McKenzie, who took too long with his attempted shot, but the ball ricocheted to James Brownie whose shot deflected past a stranded Graham Bowman.

It was not the start that Falkirk wanted, but they recovered well and soon started to dominate.

The games was level after 15 minutes when Ryan Blair fired a low shot in off the post from just inside the box.

Craig Sibbald added a second goal with 25 minutes gone. His shot from just outside the box was decent but the keeper should have done better.

Turriff were not out of it and Stephen Gauld sent a dangerous low ball across the face of the Bairns’ goal which Bowman was glad to watch fall wide. On 32 minutes, Mike McKenzie, who was starting to draw the inevitable barbed comments about his weight from the crowd, silenced his critics with an impeccably drilled shot from 20 yards which left Bowman helpless.

The goal gave the home side renewed confidence and they started to dominate for the first time in the match.

There were no changes at half time and Turriff were first to show in attack. After ten minutes Turriff made five changes to their line-up and not surprisingly took a while to re-adjust.

Sibbald played in Fulton but a timely tackle by Cumming cleared the danger.

Falkirk were still impressing with their build-up, but the absence of a central striker was obvious.

Turriff were starting to look the more eager side and the young Bairns certainly had their hands full trying to contain their lively front runners.

The pace of the game dropped around the hour mark, with the main entertainment coming from the Elliots gang behind the home goal.

The game needed something special to lift the crowd. It came in 77 minutes when sub Blair Alston hit a lovely side-footed volley past Gatt from 15 yards out.

Falkirk seemed to get a second wind and looked to finish stronger. The Highland League team looked to have given their all and were visibly slowing as the game entered its final ten minutes.

Falkirk added a fourth when Liam Rowan scored from the spot after Fulton was tugged in the box.

It was a worthwhile exercise against a useful Highland League side who certainly threatened for 70 minutes.