Peter Houston was in no mood to mince his words after Falkirk’s shock defeat by a fired-up Stirling Albion.
The only goal came through Darren Smith before the break as Stirling got their cup campaign off to a flying start. But while the home fans celebrated, Houston wasted no time in telling his players exactly what he thought about their display.
“My assessment is that one team played like a cup tie and the other team played as if it was a pre-season friendly,” he said.
“That’s as poor a performance as I have seen from our players in the two years I have been here.
“There are lessons to be learned that we cannot go about our business like that because that takes me back to two years ago when we were still bedding the team in.
“The team that were the more hungry won the tie and credit to Stirling Albion. I am taking nothing away from them at all.”
While they went into the tie as underdogs, Stirling enjoyed a bright start under a grey sky.
Falkirk did put the ball in the net when Luke Leahy drilled home but referee Colin Steven ruled offside.
Smith then headed in a fine Eddie Ferns delivery, to the joy of the home support.
With time running out, Bob McHugh was yellow carded for diving after he went down following David Verlaque’s tackle inside the box and Houston insisted : “It was a stonewaller.”
However, Stirling manager Stuart McLaren could not have been happier. He said: “It was a good performance and we are obviously really pleased to get the result.
“We are not going to get carried away, although the efforts the lads have shown in pre-season have shown the rewards.”