Dunfermline 1 Falkirk 2
Striker Botti Biabi won Falkirk the game – then almost lost it for the Bairns, according to his manager Peter Houston.
The 18-year-old has made incredible impacts on many of the games he’s featured in this season – and did so again at East End Park by enlivening a limp match between these two rivals.
The Bairns were misfiring and their hosts well on top until Biabi and Craig Sibbald entered the fray on the 54th minute.
Seconds later Biabi had wrestled possession back for the Bairns and set up Tom Taiwo for a daisy-cutting opener.
The Bairns were buoyant to lead after a non-event of a first-half where it was miraculous the Pars had failed to take any of their gilt-edged chances. Jamie McDonald scooped a Jonathan Page shot off the line and Michael Moffat headed wide from in front of goal.
But Taiwo made them pay, twice with Biabi again involved in his second strike.
Craig Sibbald worked the ball out of a tight position to Biabi who fed Taiwo and with little on, he stabbed the ball over Ryan Scully with the outside of his foot to send the away support off their heads. But it was their striker and game-changer who lost his head later.
Andy Geggan scored a close-range header then it all kicked off. Biabi and Ross Millen had been wrestling for the 21 minutes the teenager had been on the park and it turned ugly on 75 minutes when the Pars defender seemed to step on the striker as he lay on the ground.
He reacted, raced to remonstrate and moved his head towards Millen who fell swiftly to the ground. Little contact was made either time but it was enough to see Biabi red-carded by George Salmond and the Bairns’ backs to the wall.
“You make a substitution to make an impact and Botti certainly did that,” said Peter Houston. “He won us the game and nearly lost us the game. I’ll have a quiet word with him because it soured a good night for us. You can’t react like that on a pitch.
“You have to bide your time, not get wound up. We’ll ensure he never does it again. We were two up and doing well when it happenned, and
credit to the others who hung on after we went under some severe pressure.”
The Bairns hung on though and go into the last eight alongside Rangers, Morton and Stranraer.