Time to se­cure a start

Sunday Mail (UK) - - Sports - Dar­ren John­stone

Falkirk boss Paul Hartley in­sists there are jer­seys up for grabs be­cause he still doesn’t know his best team.

The Bairns have signed 11 fresh faces so far this sum­mer.

And they used a to­tal of 19 play­ers in yes­ter­day’s friendly win, in­clud­ing tri­al­ists Mark Rus­sell, Jordan Allan and Luke Watt.

Deiman­tas Pe­travi­cius, Kevin O’Hara and Tom Dal­li­son scored for Falkirk, with Leighton McIn­tosh and Chris O’Neil net­ting for League One Air­drie.

The Cham­pi­onship side have warm-up matches with Cove Rangers and Alloa be­fore their Bet­fred Cup clash with Mon­trose and Hartley says his play­ers have time to im­press.

He said: “I’m not re­ally at the stage of getting to know my pre­ferred team.

“We’ve got two games at the start of the week and ev­ery­one will fea­ture. Then we’ ll pick our strong­est team at the end of next week.

“We’ve had a lot of games and by the end of the Bet­fred Cup cam­paign we’ll have had 10 matches so it gives the team enough min­utes to gel and a chance to check out the best per­son­nel.

“Over­all this is an­other game un­der our belt and we’re build­ing to­wards the first match of the sea­son.

“We scored good goals and there was some nice com­bi­na­tion play early on.”

It took them six min­utes to open the scor­ing, Tom Owen Evans set­ting up Pe­travi­cius to slot home.

The home side dou­bled their lead 10 min­utes later when O’Hara cut in­side Sean Crighton be­fore curl­ing an ef­fort into the top cor­ner from a tight an­gle.

Di­a­monds right- back O’Neill pulled one back in the 27th minute with a low drive at the back post.

But Falkirk net­ted again six min­utes later, Evans’ cross headed in by Dal­li­son.

Air­drie hit back in bizarre fashion in 75 min­utes as sub keeper Leo Fasan’s kick-out can­noned in off McIn­tosh.

Scott Robertson al­most equalised for the Di­a­monds but his late shot flew wide.

HARTLEY big changes

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