Falkirk to play Hibs in Scottish Cup semi-final

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Falkirk’s reward for beating Hamilton is a trip to Hampden to play Hibernian in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.

The Bairns triumphed 2-1 against the Accies on Saturday.

A stunner from Blair Alston proved the winner in a tight cup contest at New Douglas Park.

Alston had opened the scoring for the Bairns in the first half but after sending his 25 yard screamer into the top corner of Kevin Cuthbert’s net, Andy Ryan pulled one back for Accies.

The Bairns fielded the same XI that burst into life against Dumbarton and blew the Sons away with a high-tempo first half. The same team couldn’t do the same here though.

It was Accies who attacked and rocked Falkirk back onto their heels initially, and Falkirk were fortunate the Accies didn’t convert one of three early chances. Stevie May was a constant nuisance in the first half, and rounded Darren Dods on the 10th minute, Kieran Duffie nipped in to toe away at the edge of the box, but May was involved again a minute later. He swept the ball inside from the left wing to Alex Neil who shepherded it on to Jon Routeledge. It was a weak effort from the Englishman but trickled marginally wide of the post.

Michael McGovern came to the rescue to smother from Gary Fisher after a dreadful backward header by Jonny Flynn let the Hamilton midfielder in.

Falkirk eventually tested Kevin Cuthbert at the opposite end but the first from Blair Alston was easy for the goalkeeper. He had more to think about when a clever ball over the top by Murdoch let Weatherston in but Cuthbert blocked for a corner and he held a later deflected drive by Alston well.

The Bairns’ midfielder increased his influence on the game as the first half progressed, and gave the Bairns the lead, despite an enforced change when Stephen Kingsley was caught by a late challenge by Darian McKinnon.

Liam Dick was on the park as Bairns took the lead five before the break.

Weatherston intercepted an Accies clearance and headed to Taylor who fed Grant. The midfielder hit the by-line before cutting back to Alston rushing to the front post and he poked into the net from close range.

Alston was fairly lucky to still be on the park, after being cautioned for a late challenge on Stevie May two minutes before opening the scoring. The away support were more angered by the challenge by McKinnon that ended Kingsley’s involvement.

Alston though, was not finished and he fired a simply stunning strike from 25 yards into the top conrer on 70 minutes and it gave Cuthbert no chance.

Accies responded moments later when Andy Ryan forced home despite attempts by McGovern to stop Stevie May and the scorer, then Liam Dick on the line couldn’t clear and knocked it into the line.

The sub had another chance, probably easier than his first where he rounded the goalkeeper, when Stevie May sent a low cross into the middle and he skewed over from three yards out.

Falkirk searched for another late on and Taylor was clear in the 90th minute but penalised for pulling back Gary Fisher. As they tangled, Jonathan Page flew in with a horrible challenge on the striker and was red-carded. Taylor, who hit the crossbar in the second half and will be in the studio for BBC Sportscene tonight, was replaced by Small and the away side hung on for progression.

Meanwhile, Celtic, Hibernian and Dundee United are also through to the semi-final stage. Hibs defeated Kilamrnock 4-2 on Sunday and United defeated their city rivals Dundee 2-1.