Falkirk 2-0 Montrose
Montrose arrived at the Falkirk Stadium knowing a win would haul them level with the Bairns.
Instead Falkirk hit twice without reply and kicked clear daylight between themselves and the chasing pack.
It was an excellent afternoon’s work by the home side who not only beat off third placed Mo, but learned afterwards that challengers Cove Rangers, Airdrie and Partick Thistle had all dropped points in behind.
Co-boss Lee Miller hailed his players post match for their efforts during lockdown.
They looked like they hadn’t missed a beat when they returned to see off a Montrose side which clearly posed a threat.
The Bairns came flying out the traps early on.
Whether that was through the pure adrenaline of being back out playing competitively again, or a deliberate tactic designed to take the wind out of the visitors’ sails, is up for debate.
What is without question is that the home side really set at marker.
Callumn Morrison was tormentor in chief, his direct runs pulling foul after foul from the Montrose defence.
It came as no surprise to see Falkirk race into the lead after just 12 minutes following an opening spell of dominance.
Gary Miller met a corner but his effort came rebounding back off the crossbar.
Falkirk were on their toes and Mark Durnan was first to react, making no mistake with a close range header.
It was exactly the sort of start they’d hoped for and should have given them a platform to put the game out of sight.
Montrose, though, don’t sit where they are in the league for no reason and edged back into the game.
The enjoyed a good spell in possession but it’s a struggle to think of too many times when Robbie Mutch was tested.
A series of substitutions disrupted the momentum Stewart Petrie’s side had gathered and Falkirk finished strongly.
Anton Dowds was introduced from the Falkirk bench and he helped settle matters by picking out an unmarked Morrison in injury time to complete the scoring.