Raith take points in five-goal thriller at Falkirk

Farid El Alagui was on target again but Falkirk went down to Rovers
Farid El Alagui was on target again but Falkirk went down to Rovers
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Farid El Alagui hit his 27th goal of the season - though Falkirk still lost 3-2 to Raith Rovers.

Brian Graham hit a hat-trick for Raith - including a disputed penalty - while Blair Alston was the Bairns’ other scorer in a tough battle at The Falkirk Stadium.

The visitors were scrapping for survival and it showed, as they barged, pushed, shoved and pulled in tussles all over the park.

Farid El Alagui was in the midst of many of them but emerged to score the opener when Doug Hill made a poor pass out of defence.

The striker slotted home, but he was later involved in an incident that stopped the game for nine minutes when a clash of heads with Laurie Ellis left the defender a suspected broken jaw and led to him being stretchered off.

By that time Raith had equalised with Graham's penalty when Kieran Duffie was adjudged to have pulled the striker down, alhough both seemed to be giving as good as each other in the box.

After Ellis' horror injury - which also incurred a booking for El Alagui - Raith were fired up and Graham again found a way past McGovern, converting John Baird's cross.

The second half had just as many goalmouth incidents and Alston volleyed in El Alagui's cross to level

Alston was on as a second-half substitute when he and Kris Faulds replaced Willie Gibson and Jay Fulton - who had played twice for Scotland in midweek.

And the goal was just reward for an energetic performance from Kirkcaldy-born player but it proved to no avail as but immediately afterwards Graham raced up the park to complete his hat-trick with a shot into McGovern's top corner.

Falkirk could have still have calimed a point but they had claims for a late penalty turned down when Craig Sibbald was felled, and Bobby Madden waved another away when Allan Walker seemed to block an El Alagui header with his hand.

Falkirk remain four points off Dundee, who also lost at home.