League One returned to action with the prospect of a change at the top of the table as leaders Falkirk hosted third-placed Montrose at the Falkirk Stadium – but the Bairns were far from their best as they opened up a four-point lead at the top of the table with a 2-0 win.

It didn’t take long for the hosts to open the scoring when, after a fairly scruffy first ten minutes, Mark Durnan bulleted a header home as he capitalised on a rebound off the frame of the goal.

The Bairns had started the better of the two sides and were beginning to put pressure on Stewart Petrie’s side before the goal with Aidan Keena forcing a smart save from Aaron Lennox before the Montrose keeper watched Gary Miller’s header crash off his crossbar.

Having fallen behind, Montrose finally started to get forward and move away from the edge of their own area, and midfielder Terry Masson really should have done much better when the ball fell nicely for him just inside the area 20 minutes in; ballooning his effort well over the bar and into the empty stand behind.

There was plenty of evidence of rustiness from both sides though as they returned to action for the first time in months, with neither team able to really get into a consistent rhythm and take control of things in before the break.

Despite having the lead, Falkirk were far from comfortable but the table-toppers were able to hold on until the break when co-managers Lee Miller and David McCracken were sure to have reminded them exactly what is at stake after the restart.

Blair Alston almost made it 2-0 from a free-kick early in the second-half, Lennox just managing to push it away to safety as it looked as though it had caught the Montrose shotstopper out.

As everything started getting a bit panicked and frantic, teenage winger Kai Fotheringham had a chance to grab a debut goal, finding space on the edge of the area but the Dundee United loanee screwed his effort wide.

Falkirk again gained the momentum and pushed forward in search of a second goal to kill the game off and it took until the final minutes for Callumn Morrison to double the lead and secure the three points.

The winger had looked most likely to make something happen all afternoon and showed excellent composure to fire low beyond Lennox and and round off a good move by the Bairns as they took advantage of the visitors throwing everything at getting an equaliser.

With a maximum of ten games left in the league campaign – Falkirk know what they need to do if they are to get a return to the second-tier next season.

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