Falkirk’s win in Stirling was tinged with disappointment following Dunfermline’s victory in the Fife derby.
Goals from Mark Millar and Tam McManus were enough to secure three vital points for the Bairns despite a second-half header from Gordon Smith that jangled nerves.
The win means Falkirk stay six points behind league leaders Dunfermline - who came from behind to beat Raith Rovers 2-1 - with two games left to play and now have to rely on the Pars slipping up next week to have a chance on the final day of the season.
The ball was predominantly in the Falkirk box early ona, but the Bairns took a lead into half-time courtesy of Mark Millar’s penalty in the 36th minute. Scott Robertson had bundled Tam Scobbie over at a corner and set-piece specialist Millar swept the ball in off the post.
McManus gave the Bairns a second, rounding off a great passing move with a spinning shot from the edge of the box on 41 minutes.
Stirling hit back in the second half and the nerves intensified late on when 16-year-old substitute Stephen Kingsley was sent off in his second match and just two minutes after his entrance. The youngster’s excitement at another top team chance got the better of him and he walked for a two-footed challenge on Michael Doyle, but the 10 men hung on.
The same scoreline earned Stenhousemuir a vital victory at Alloa, reducing the gap between the sides and handing the Warriors a real chance of avoiding the relegation play-off. East Stirlingshire also won with a late goal by David Dunn helping see off Elgin 2-1.