Falkirk win again but losses mount up for Shire

Darren Dods was on target as Falkirk defeated Cowdenbeath 4-0.
Darren Dods was on target as Falkirk defeated Cowdenbeath 4-0.

Falkirk will enter Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final in confident mood after winning their fourth match in succession courtesy of a 4-0 victory against Cowdenbeath.

It was the last match in charge for temporary Bairns boss Alex Smith, who will resume his role as the club’s technical director when Gary Holt begins his new job as head coach today.

The Fifers arrived at Westfield looking for a win as they aim to move away from the First Division relegation zone.

Falkirk rested Lyle Taylor and Stewart Murdoch in advance of next week’s cup tie against Hibernian, while Stephen Kingsley dropped out as he recovers from a heavy cold. He was replaced by Liam Dick, who travelled to Serbia with the Scotland under-19 squad after the game.

Sean Higgins kept his place as striker and a first team debut was given to Liam Rowan at right-back.

The first half was a drab affair with few moments of interest.

Bairns fans thought Higgins had given the home side the lead after 20 minutes, but his elegant chip over the outstretched arms of keeper Colin Stewart flew just wide of the post.

The game exploded to life when Falkirk found a break through on the 70 minute mark. Jay Fulton crossed from the left and a side-footed volley from Darren Dods was enough to put the ball past Colin Stewart from four yards out.

The Bairns added a second goal eight minutes later. Liam Rowan sent a low cross into the box from the right, which was trapped by Sean Higgins, who stumbled before the ball was driven into the net by Craig Sibbald.

The three points were secured on 81 minutes when Jay Fulton was pulled down in the box by Cowdenbeath’s Jamie Stevenson. Referee Calum Murray immediately pointed to the spot and Higgins stepped up to calmly roll the ball into the net.

And the striker made it two goals in two minutes when he ran clear of the Cowdenbeath defence before finishing.

Meanwhile, it was another painful afternoon for East Stirlingshire fans as their side was hammered 6-0 by Peterhead.

Shire, who have been missing several first team regulars in recent weeks, found themselves three goals down with just 17 minutes played at Balmoor Stadium.

And the first half horror show got even worse for the away team when Dean Cowie scored after 39 minutes and then 60 seconds later Rory McAllister added his second goal to give a half time score of 5-0.

James Redman scored the only goal of the second half to complete a miserable day for John Coughlin’s side, who have now lost six games in succession.