The Warriors played their last pre-season friendly at Ochilview on Tuesday night when Dumbarton visited and the 5 - 0 victory surely boosted confidence for Saturday’s Petrofac Cup Tie against the Shire.
It may have been a young Sons team, but Warriors manager Brown Ferguson had a right to feel pleased with the manner in which his new squad has developed during the pre-season matches.
“When the game was arranged Ian Murray was the manager of Dumbarton and we expected to play his first team,” Ferguson told Heraldsport.
“Nevertheless I thought the team they put out acquitted themselves well and prefer to dwell on our own performance.”
“We controlled the game throughout and you could see the patterns of play we want to employ during the season.
“In the first half we were able to involve a couple of academy youngsters and after the break it was virtually our likely first team squad that we started with. Fraser Eddington and Grant Hamilton also came on and they, like Paul Nash, did not let themselves down.
“I’m delighted to say that everyone that took part has given me a headache before we play the Shire on Saturday, but it is the best sort to have.
“Everybody has a chance to start against the Shire and it’s obviously something I will be giving a great deal of thought to, but I was really pleased the way kept our concentration when we were well in front. It’s easy to take your foot of the gas in such situations, but I was impressed with the professionalism the players displayed by continuing to do the things we want them to do right to the end.
“Saturday is the first big test though. That’s when the real thing happens, but I am confident the lads we have brought here will show why they have come to Ochilview, why we wanted them at the club, and what the fans can expect throughout the season ahead.”
Ferguson’s men started on the front foot and after a few near things it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 17th minute. Stephen Stirling fired in a corner to the near post and Stuart Malcolm rose to power a header into the net from 10 yards.
The home side continued on the offensive and a Stephen Stirling drive from 28 yards was not too far over.
Sons’ only real first have effort nearly restored parity when Trialist let fly with a speculative shot from 30 yards. Given that Jamie Barclay had never been called into action previously, the minder did exceptionally well to dive full length to turn the ball round the post.
Boss Ferguson rang the changes with a plethora of subs at the break and rather than upset the rhythm of the side, if anything the tempo was upped.
It took only seven minutes of the second period for the Warriors to increase their lead in spectacular style. Mark Gilhaney’s corner from the right was blocked out to Stirling on the edge of the box and the midfielder – who was shy throughout in having a pop - volleyed a screamer inside the right hand post.
Four minutes later the lead was extended to three, again in some style. Stirling and Gilhaney combined to set up Ross Meechan 12 yards from the byeline on the right and despite a poor angle the defender rifled low inside the near post
Fraser Eddington chipped the trialist keeper to add a fourth in 78 minutes and six minutes from time the home side went nap when Allan Cook headed an Eddington cross down and in from 12 yards.