Falkirk maintained their unbeaten run under David McCracken and Lee Miller as Declan McManus’ hat-trick helped them to a comfortable win against Peterhead in one of the handful of games across Scotland to survive the weather.

The Bairns made one change from last weekend’s 3-0 win over Dumbarton with Conor Sammor replacing David McMillan in attack against Jim McInally’s side.

The visitors started on the front-foot with Aidan Connolly causing problems for the Blue Toon’s defence before Declan McManus opened the scoring ten minutes in.

McManus hit a double last weekend and he picked up where he left off against the Sons, reacting first to fire home after Mo Gomis’ strike was deflected into the forward’s path.

The on-loan Ross County striker doubled his and Falkirk’s tally for the afternoon 14 minutes later as he tucked a neat finish into the bottom corner after a lovely bit of build-up play involving Mikey Doyle and Sammon down the right.

The full-back drove forward with the ball, playing in Sammon before the veteran set the ball nicely for McManus to finish and make it 2-0.

Miller and McCraken pose after their hiring as managers of Falkirk (Falkirk FC).

Miller and McCraken pose after their hiring as manager’s of Falkirk (Falkirk FC).

Falkirk’s two-goal lead didn’t last for long though as Mark Durnan put the ball into his own net under pressure from Cammy Eadie.

Dunlop headed Jack Leith’s cross back into the mix and Durnan put through his own goal before Eadie inevitably scored to breathe some new life into the game.

The own goal seemed to spark Peterhead into action and the hosts took control of the game for the first time and had Falkirk pinned back deep in their own half, without ever making it count and allowing the Bairns to get to the break with their lead intact.

Falkirk almost extended their lead not too long after the restart when Durnan’s header went within inches of going in, leaving Peterhead breathing a massive sigh of relief.

The Bairns kept up the pressure on Fleming’s goal though and the keeper done well to stop an effort from Charlie Telfer moments before McManus saw a volley blocked to deny him his hat-trick.

With 30 minutes left, Peterhead looked dead and buried after David Ferguson was shown a straight red card and McManus stepped up to net the resulting spot-kick and complete his treble.

Falkirk’s numerical advantage showed as the Bairns took complete control of the game and pushing forward with some slick, one-touch passing in their bid for a fourth.

With the game looking more or less over as a contest, Miller and McCracken turned to their substitutes with Rafa De Vita and David McMillan replacing  Charlie Telfer and hat-trick hero, Declan McManus before Robbie Leitch came on for Mo Gomis shortly after.

Falkirk’s win sees them climb to second and close the gap at the top of the League One table to a single point after Raith and Airdrie both drew.

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