Falkirk have thrashed Peterhead 3-0 to keep the pressure on Raith Rovers at the top of League One as the final day clash between the sides looks set to be a title decider at the Falkirk Stadium.

After the draw with title rivals Raith in midweek, the Bairns were looking to take advantage of any slip up as the Fifers faced Forfar in Kirkcaldy.

The visitors made the trip to Falkirk with only one win in their previous five games and a clash with table-toppers Raith next weekend.

It was a bright start from the Bairns as they moved the ball around well, probing the Peterhead defence, and looking to get themselves in front early.

The opener only took nine minutes as some lovely play involving Declan McManus and Aidan Connolly on edge of the area saw the ball slipped into Lee Miller and the veteran coolly slotted beyond Fleming.

There was a feeling that the second goal was only a matter of time and Falkirk went within inches of scoring again after 21 minutes after a free-kick was flashed across goal and almost sneaked inside the far post.

Peterhead had offered very little in the way of attacking intent and looked happy just to hang on until the break and get the chance to regroup without Falkirk extending their lead.

The Blue Toon’s Jason Brown has a lucky escape when he hauled McManus down as he charged through on goal, with referee Craig Napier only showing a yellow card. The resulting free-kick cannoned off Simon Ferry’s hand, leading to a spot-kick for the hosts.

McManus stepped up and duly netted to make it 2-0 with 25 minutes played and grab his 22nd goal of the campaign.

The second goal really left Jim McInally’s side up against it and they managed to get to the break with the scoreline remaining at 2-0 – despite Falkirk continuing to create chances.

Shortly after the restart, Paul Dixon almost made it 3-0 as he skimmed the crossbar with an absolute howitzer of a strike which Fleming managed to get the faintest of touches on.

There was no real urgency from either side though as Peterhead looked resigned to heading back north empty-handed while for Falkirk, they just had to see the game out.

After Falkirk took their foot off the gas a little, Peterhead had their first real spell of the game where they looked dangerous going forward but the defensive pairing of Ben Hall and Mark Durnan were more than a match.

Just as Peterhead looked to find a way back into the game, McManus hit the net for a second time to kill the game off completely.

The striker fired a stunning free-kick in off the post to leave Fleming rooted to his line and seal a vital three points in the title race.

With 20 minutes left, co-head coach Lee Miller left the pitch to a standing ovation as he was replaced by Connor Sammon and Miller must surely have played his way into a regular star alongside McManus after an impressive performance.

The Bairns will have been more than happy with their performance as they continue to set the stage for a winner-takes-all clash in May.

Falkirk: Mutch, Doyle, Dixon, Durnan, Connolly, McManus (McMillan 80′), Longridge, Hall, G. Miller, De Vita (Telfer 66′), L. Miller (Sammon 70′)

Subs: Ferrie Buchanan, Gomis, McShane,

Peterhead: Fleming, Boyle, Bollan, Eadie, J. Brown, Ferry, Stevenson, S. Brown, Lyle (Boyd 66′), Leitch (Cook 62′), Conroy (Cook 46′)

Subs: Wilson, Smith, Ferguson, Armour,

Attendance: 3507

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