Holders Falkirk booked their place in Monday’s draw for the second round of the Ramsdens Cup as they gained revenge for our shock victory of two years ago with a comfortable win.
Albion triumphed on penalties after a 0-0 draw at Forthbank on that occasion but we remain without a success away to our local rivals since New Year’s Day 1975.
Kieran Duffie broke the deadlock late in the first period and a second-half double from recent signing Lyle Taylor made the game safe for Steven Pressley’s side.
Greig McDonald had to do without full-backs Shaun Fagan, David McClune, Ross McGeachie and Kieran McAnespie so Danny Ashe and Gary Thom started either side of McDonald and Brian Allison.
Bradley Coyne was wide right in a midfield five that saw Mark Ferry on the left, with a central three of Gavin Macpherson, Jamie McCunnie and Daly McSorley. Graham Weir was the lone striker.
Falkirk had won a pre-season friendly between the teams 3-0 earlier this month but we almost stunned the hosts inside 10 seconds. Stephen Kingsley misjudged a ball over the top and Coyne had a sight of goal but his powerful shot was saved by Michael McGovern.
Albion threatened again when Ferry’s header from a Macpherson corner was blocked, then Weir was thwarted after a fine Ferry pass.
We hadn’t looked in much danger of conceding but a quick break allowed Jay Fulton to pick out Duffie and the defender turned his man before lashing a shot high past Sam Filler in 34 minutes.
A timely intervention from Allison prevented further damage before the break but in 51 minutes Taylor, who scored a hat-trick against Middlesbrough last week and also netted in a midweek match with Bolton, cut in from the left wing and beat Filler with a low drive from 20 yards.
Five minutes later Filler could only push out an Andy Haworth corner and Taylor volleyed home to complete the scoring. Substitutes Jamie Clark and Gary Brass both came close to claiming a late consolation but Falkirk’s place in the last 16 was already assured.
Our next match is away to Arbroath, 7-5 winners in an incredible match at Elgin this afternoon, in the first round of the Scottish Communities League Cup on Saturday.
Falkirk: McGovern, Duffie, Kingsley, Dods, Flynn, J Fulton (D Fulton 78), Sibbald (Dick 82), Murdoch, Taylor, Haworth, Leahy (White 78). Subs: (not used): Smith, Bowman (GK).
Scorers: Duffie 34, Taylor 51, 56
Stirling Albion: Filler, Thom, Ashe, McCunnie (Clark 86), Allison, McDonald, McSorley, Macpherson (Davidson 59), Weir (Brass 74), Coyne, Ferry. Subs (not used): McCulloch, Peat (GK).
Referee: John McKendrick