Falkirk 1 Rangers 3: Bairns out of League Cup

23-09-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk v Rangers. Scottish League Cup. Rory Loy goal.
23-09-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk v Rangers. Scottish League Cup. Rory Loy goal.
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Falkirk finally scored against Rangers for the first time in three years, but were eliminated from the Scottish League Cup.

Rory Loy gave the Bairns the lead but three in response sends Peter Houston’s side out of the competition.

23-09-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk v Rangers. Scottish League Cup. Rory Loy goal.

23-09-2014. Picture Michael Gillen. FALKIRK. Falkirk Stadium. Falkirk v Rangers. Scottish League Cup. Rory Loy goal.

Falkirk’s orthodox routine of shooting left to right, or into the north stand for the first half was turned on its head as the sides were swapped and the Bairns kicked off a whirlwind opening to the match with two goals in the opening six minutes.

After six minutes Craig Sibbald found Tom Taiwo with a clever pass and the midfielder shifted wide to Blair Alston. The midfielder smashed a powerful low drive that Simonsen met but spilled and ex-Rangers man Rory Loy was on hand to tap in and hand Falkirk the lead.

The goal was the first forn the Bairns against the Glasgow side since Mark Millar’s famous free-kick three years ago but the lead lasted just 100 seconds.

A wicked cross from Steven Smith on the left-wing across the line of the six-yard box was sliced high into the net by Owain Tudur Jones.

The Welshman had little choice but to attempt the clearance and found himself by-passed in a defensive midfield role protecting Falkirk’s back-line in a 4-1-4-1 formation. Going froward Falkirk were much more composed and Luke Leahy, at left midfield was attacking from the left wing with Craig Sibbald and Blair Alston. Indeed Sibbald was mixing it from the word go with skirmishes with Lee McCulloch, Ian Black and Darren McGregor in the first half.

Rangers could have been ahead when Boyd got between Liam Dick and David McCracken but Jamie MacDonald was quick off his line to smother, just as he came to the rescue when McCracken was spun on the half-way line by Boyd and his lay-off to Shiels was saved by the goalkeeper, then Vaulks’ header and his final attempt hitch-kicked off the line by McCracken.

The Bairns were standing up to Rangers as they did in the league encounter a few weeks earlier and had a goal to their name but although they battled - and Tom Taiwo in particular - they had to settle for parity at half-time.

That only lasted 20 minutes as Rangers took the lead when Lee Wllace cut-out MacDonald’s kickout and fed Shiels who scored, though the Bairns keeper did well to get low to palm the ball, but only succeeded in knocking it into the roof of the net.

Peter Houston pitched in the attack-minded Alex Cooper and Botti Biabi but it failed to bring an equaliser though Craig Sibbald tested Simonsen with a free-kick the goalkeeper didn’t see until late.

At the opposite end Jamie MacDonald had a great save to block a header from Rangers’ sub Jon Daly and Rory Loy was sure he should have had one when his shot struck a hand on the 90th minute.

The ref signalled four minutes of injury time but could have wrapped it up seconds later as Ian Black sent a sumptious curling shot into the top corner from 25 yards to seal Rangers’ progression.