Shire went out of the Stirlingshire Cup to a youthful Falkirk team at Westfield on Tuesday night.
John Coughlin’s team paid the price for not making the breakthrough when they were on top and were then hit by two Falkirk goals inside the last ten minutes of the first half.
The coach made several changes and rested skipper Kevin Turner, Michael Hunter, Ally Love and Alex Lurinsky. Andy Stirling, suspended at Annan on Saturday, made a return while Scott Fulton and Jamie Benton, currently on loan at Maryhill Juniors, were also included.
Shire made the brightest of starts and should have been a goal up after 12 minutes. Some great work set up Nico Gibson for a left-wing cross which found Fraser Team just six yards out but he shot over the bar.
After 20 minutes a Stirling free-kick into the box was collected by Joe Savage but he hit his shot from point-blank range against the Falkirk keeper and the chance was gone.
Not long after another cross from Gibson found Team unmarked at the back post but he could only direct his shot into the side netting.
Savage missed another great chance to give Shire the lead, rising highest as Stirling sent a free-kick into the Falkirk box but he could not direct his effort on target.
All those early misses came back to haunt Shire after 38 minutes when Kelly’s shot was handled by Steven Jackson inside the box. It was an obvious penalty and Ally Graham made no mistake from the spot.
On the stroke of half-time Scott Maxwell gave the ball in midfield and Millar threaded a pass through to Graham who scored Falkirk’s goal from close range.
The second half was a virtual non-event. However, Calum Antell did stop it going to 3-0 on the hour mark with a fantastic save from Millar.
Eight minutes from the end Falkirk’s goalscorer earned himself a straight red card for a crude challenge from behind on Fulton.
SHIRE : Antell, Jackson, Fulton, Cane(Chisholm 46), Frances, Maxwell, Scott, Stirling, Savage(Benton 60), Team, Gibson(Glasgow 70).
FALKIRK : Bowman, Rowan, Dick, Bennett, Turnbull, Comrie(Small 89), McGrandles(Brisbane 81), Fulton, Graham, Kelly(Grant 62), Millar.
REFEREE : C. Charleston.
ATTENDANCE : 274.