Late show from Raith eliminates Bairns

Rory Loy retained his place in the Bairns team, alongside Phil Roberts and new signing Rakish Bingham
Rory Loy retained his place in the Bairns team, alongside Phil Roberts and new signing Rakish Bingham

Falkirk are out of the Ramsdens Cup after a late goal from sub Greig Spence gave Raith Rovers victory in a poor match.

A near-post cross from Jason Thomson was knocked over the line by the striker with five minutes of regulation time to go, finally breaching Graham Bowman’s net after an excellent performance from the young goalie.

Falkirk boss, and ex-Kilmarnock cup winner Gary Holt was given a 'warm' reception at home of the club's arch-rivals Ayr

Falkirk boss, and ex-Kilmarnock cup winner Gary Holt was given a 'warm' reception at home of the club's arch-rivals Ayr

He was one of three changes made by Gary Holt who drafted in Rakish Bingham and Johnny Flynn to the side.

Bingham, on-loan from Wigan, formed wing support along with Phil Roberts to Falkirk’s three-pronged attack with Rory Loy through the middle.

Loy had the first attempt at goal, stinging the palms of David McGurn with a ferocious shot the goalkeeper pushed into the air, and regathered beofre Phil Roberts could connect with a fifth minute volley.

Rovers earned a series of corners to test rookie goalkeeper Graham Bowman, but the Bairns defence coped, and Johnny Flynn and the stopper passed the ball around under pressure at the back.

Loy spurned a great chance on 16 minutes after Roberts’ burst down the wing left two defenders in his wake. A quick ball into the box was met by Loy but sent wide.

Raith had a scoring opportunity on 26 minutes when ex-Stenhousemuir man Grant ANderson laid the ball into Callum Elliot’s path, but a skimming strike from 25 yards lacked the power to trouble Graham Bowman.

the goalkeeper was equal to a fierce strike from Lewis Vaughan shortly before half-time as Falkirk’s attacking options were limited and Raith took hold without breaching Bowman’s net.

Craig Sibbald had been quiet for the first half after an earlier clash of heads with Anderson, and again he was in the wars colliding with Elliot off the ball, but he dusted himself down to take a Kieran Duffie pass on halfway and advance 25 yards before firing well over the bar.

Loy had spurned a great chance in the first half after being laid off by Phil Roberts, and then the Republic of Ireland man did likewise five minutes into the second half. A cross from Rakish Bingham on the left -wing after a halftime switch, was met by the unchallenged leap of Roberts’ who headed well wide in front of the goal.

Rovers also failed to take their clear-cut chances before the winner. Liam Fox blasted over from inside the box after a tidy cushioned header by Grant Anderson and the ex-Warrior crossed deep to the backpost and sub Greig Spence was inches away from connecting with Bowman under the first pressure of the second half on 63 minutes.

The goalkeeper watched two shots, from Anderson and Elliot flash close to goal after 70 minutes, as did a drive from Liam Fox that struck the net support ten minutes later.

Gary Holt had pitched in Thomas Grant for Jay Fulton in a bid to unlock the Raith rearguard and spark a turgid match to life, but it was at the opposite end the match was won. Greig Spence knocked in a cross from Jason Thomson to knock the Bairns out of the competition they won in season 2011/12.