Falkirk interim managers Lee Miller and David McCracken got off to a fantastic start to their push to return their side to the top of League One as they thumped Stranraer 3-0.
The Bairns named the same starting XI as the one that faced Linlithgow Rose in the Scottish Cup eight days ago as they looked to get their league challenge back on track after Ray McKinnon’s sacking.
After hugely-popular spells as players at the club, the pair received a fantastic welcome from the Falkirk Stadium crowd as they were introduced prior to kick-off.
Stevie Farrell’s Stranraer came into the game rooted to the bottom of the table, a point off ninth-placed Forfar, and with only one win in their last five attempts in League One.
There was little between the sides in the opening stages as they largely cancelled each other out and the lack of any real involvement for either keeper didn’t bode well for an open, attacking game.
When the first real chance of the game did come, Falkirk had Mark Durnan to thank as he made a timely intervention with the hosts looking set to score.
The Bairns quickly had a chance of their own to open the scoring and Declan McManus made no mistake as he headed home Louis Longridge’s cross on the 18th minute.
Longridge’s ball was perfectly weighted for McManus and the striker’s header left Max Currie with no chance to keep it out.
Connor Sammon almost made it 2-0 with 10 minutes left in the opening half when his clever flick left Currie scrambling to get across his goal and clear, only making it at the last second as the ball trickled over the line.
The Bairns had been dominant since opening the scoring but for all of their possession, they lacked any real bite in front of goal as they looked to make the game secure.
Just minutes before half-time, the second goal finally came as Michael Doyle got on the end of Paul Dixon’s cross to fire home and deliver a hammer-blow shortly before the break.
After the restart, the hosts controlled the tempo of the game as they forced Stranraer to come forward in search of the ball before looking to exploit any gaps.
For their part, the visitors tried to stay as compact as possible and frustrate Falkirk, although they found little success.
The pressure on the Stranraer defence continued and Connor Sammon had a couple of half-chances he should have done better with but it seemed as though a third goal was only a matter of time for Falkirk.
The Bairns thought they had it with 65 minutes played when Morgaro Gomis showed some lovely footwork to create space for a shot before curling one just wide of the far post.
With 72 minutes played, the third goal eventually arrived to put the seal on a good win as Durnan headed home from close-range.
It was nothing more than Falkirk deserved and they looked like a whole different side to the one who collapsed against Airdrie in their last league outing here.
There was concern for Declan McManus a few minutes later after he slipped and landed awkwardly, requiring treatment from the physio, before then getting booked for reasons that remain a mystery to everyone but the referee.
The Bairns were more than comfortable at this stage and were able to see the game out and secure a first win at home in the league in too long.