Scorers: McMillan (24), Telfer (66) and Gomis (80)

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FALKIRK cruised to a comfortable victory against a Stranraer side once again missing key players.

Stevie Farrell had to reshuffle his pack with Adam Cummins and David Smith joining Grant Gallagher and Lee Hamilton on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Ray McKinnon’s men made the trip down the A77 looking for their first three points on the road this campaign.

Stranraer had fought bravely at The Falkirk Stadium in the Betfred Cup earlier this season before going down 1-0 but Falkirk simply had too much for their opponents at Stair Park.

Up until the first goal, Stranraer looked reasonably comfortable.

Max Currie had denied Aidan Connolly before David McMillan blazed the rebound over but Stranraer had half chances of their own.

Andy Stirling and Jordan Allan linked up well on the left with the winger firing in a teasing ball, which was just beyond a stretching James Hilton.

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Mark Stewart also blasted at Cameron Bell, although the offside flag had already gone up.

The opener came on 24 minutes from the head of McMillan, who was making his first start for Falkirk since joining on loan from St Johnstone.

Louis Longridge’s delivery from the left was met by McMillan, whose glancing header clipped the bottom of the right post before crossing the line.

It was a goal which settled any nerves the visitors may have had and Currie had to push Longridge’s shot to safety five minutes later.

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Morgaro Gomis then fired wide at the back post but Stranraer fired in a timely reminder that they were not out of the contest just five minutes before the break.

Loose play at the back by Falkirk saw the ball come to Leon Murphy on the edge of the box.

Unfortunately, the on loan Ayr man rushed his shot and missed the target.

Finally, Falkirk should have doubled their advantage just two minutes before the interval.

Good link up play between Declan McManus and Charlie Telfer saw the ball blocked in the box with McMillan poking it towards goal, only for Currie to make another block.

A goal down at the break, the Blues would have been hoping to turn the game on its head in the second half.

It never materialised and it took the crossbar to deny Gregor Buchanan’s header, with McManus lurking in front of Currie.

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Scott Robertson forced Bell into a save at the other end and a lovely bit of wing play by Stirling again resulted in a teasing cross but no Stranraer man lurking to tuck the ball away.

The contest was put to bed on 66 minutes through Telfer.

Stranraer’s defence was cut open and the former Rangers and Dundee United man evaded Jamie Hamill’s last ditch challenge before coolly firing beyond Currie.

McManus was then denied by Currie before the pick of the goals ten minutes from time.

Gomis was afforded far too much space in the middle of the park and after striding forward unchallenged he blasted into the top corner from fully 25 yards.

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Stranraer continued to push towards the end and forced a couple of corners, with Ryan Thomson also firing wide of target late on.

Stranraer’s attentions now turn to Airdrie, who took 12 points out of 12 against the Blues last season.

Stranraer: Currie, Robertson, Allan, C McManus, Hamill, Hilton, Murphy (Pignatiello 73), Thomson, Stirling, Stewart (Dangana 69), Elliott (Jones 69).
Not used: I Smith and Burgess.

Falkirk: Bell, Doyle, Dixon, Buchanan, Durnan, Gomis, Connolly, D McManus (Johnstone 78), Longridge, Telfer (McShane 71), McMillan (Sammon 78).
Not used: MacLean, Toshney, Miller and Mutch.

Referee: Grant Irvine
Attendance: 549
HT: 0-1

Photos: Bill McCandlish, Stranraer FC

Gallery

SPFL 3L1 6474

POS
TEAM PLD
PTS
1 Raith Rovers 10 20
2 East Fife 10 20
3 Falkirk 10 19
4 Dumbarton 10 14
5 Airdrieonians 10 14
6 Clyde 10 13
7 Forfar Athletic 10 10
8 Montrose 10 10
9 Peterhead 10 9
10 Stranraer 10 7


Fixtures

2019/20 Squad

1 - Max Currie (GK)
2 - Scott Robertson (DEF)
3 - Jordan Allan (DEF)
4 - Adam Cummins (DEF)
5 - Lee Hamilton (DEF)
6 - Connor McManus (MID)
7 - James Hilton (MID)
8 - Grant Gallagher (MID)
9 - Mark Stewart (STR)
10 - Leon Murphy (MID)
11 - Ian Smith (MID)
12 - Carlo Pignatiello (MID)
14 - Cameron Elliott (STR)
15 - Robert Jones (STR)

17 - David Smith (DEF)
18 - David Dangana (STR)
21 - Dale Burgess (GK)
22 - Jamie Hamill (DEF)
23 - Ryan Thomson (MID)
77 - Andy Stirling (MID)