Falkirk 3 Rangers 2: Last gasp Millar goal seals famous victory - watch it again

It was another Falkirk TV classic watch again weekend, and another last-gasp goal from the Bairns in front of the south stand that kept viewers watching till the end. Here’s how we remembered it at the time...

Saturday, 28th March 2020, 4:49 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th March 2020, 4:58 pm
21/09/11. John Devlin. Communities Cup. Falkirk FC (3)  V Rangers FC (2). Final whistle.
21/09/11. John Devlin. Communities Cup. Falkirk FC (3) V Rangers FC (2). Final whistle.

Under-strength Falkirk showed resolve to defeat champions Rangers and send the holders dramatically tumbling from the Scottish Communities Cup.

The Falkirk Stadium was split in two, but only one half was singing following one of the most dramatic climaxes to a match ever seen at the Bairns’ new home. Delirium swept the new railway end of the stadium after a stunning free-kick from midfielder Mark Millar in the final minute of the match clinched a famous victory. Falkirk’s reward is a quarter-final tie against Dundee United on October 25.

The Bairns had raced into a two-goal lead through Farid El Alagui before being pegged back by Dorin Goian and Nikica Jelavic – but the character of the young Bairns hauled themselves back in front with no time for a response.

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21/09/11. John Devlin. Communities Cup. Falkirk FC (3) V Rangers FC (2).

Rangers were fresh from an Old Firm derby win and boasted a strong line-up – almost 100 accumulated years older than the Bairns.

But the teenagers played like men to defeat the reigning Scottish champions.

Their product on the pitch has revitalised Falkirk following the timid end to last season’s promotion challenge.

All the action came in the second half – and it’s no coincidence it was once Millar’s grip on the game took over. The Bairns midfielder has been increasing his influence recently and alongside Jay Fulton, the midfield – and the raucous home support - pushed Falkirk on to a memorable victory.

Bursting from the traps the Bairns twice caught Rangers cold at the back to rush into a deserved twogoal lead.

Once Millar began to find room in the Rangers midfield, he seized his opportunity. He had Neil Alexander scrambling across his goal with a deflected drive a few minutes into the second half in a taste of things to come.

Cheeks puffing, the former Celtic man bombed forward in the 59th minute and clipped a clever ball to Kieran Duffie for the opener and the rushing right-back’s lob to the backpost gave Farid El Alagui a straightforward header to open the scoring.

The second breakaway goal was even more dynamic.

A three-pronged attack of Craig Sibbald, David Weatherston and El Alagui raced from Falkirk’s box. Weatherston set up the 16-year-old to supply the sort of ball the French-Moroccan thrives upon, and he did the rest for his 10th goal.

Rangers then began to bombard Falkirk. Michael McGovern had to tip over a deflected Goian header, and Steven Naismith rattled the inside of the post between Falkirk’s goals before the champions finally responded with two headers in the final ten minutes.

There seemed only one winner as extra-time beckoned, but Millar had the last say from 20 yards after Naismith had tripped Sibbald. His curling freekick ricocheted between crossbar and keeper Neil Alexander and trickled over the line.

it was a fitting finale after a non-event of a first-half in which Falkirk stifled the visitors, working hard to Steven Pressley’s gameplan.

The boss was without Millar’s partner in crime Stewart Murdoch, and bereft of Kallum Higginbotham’s trickery but had still identified areas his team could hurt Rangers.

That appeared to be down the wings as Duffie and Tam Scobbie raced beyond Rangers defence at every opportunity to supply El Alagui, but he was often too isolated in the initial 5-4-1 set-up.

Rangers’ David Healy should have capitalised on a Murray Wallace header before Darren Dods slid in to clear in an heroic challenge to keep the scores level. It was an important block from the captain, but there were 12 heroes for Falkirk as they combined to earn a truly famous victory.