Falkirk returned to winning ways with Blair Alston yet again the Bairns’ hero.
The in-form midfielder tapped in the winner on the 90th minute - a result made all the more vital by Hibs slipping up - yet again.
The Bairns loooked like conceding two points in the race for second which has stuttered in recent weeks, but alston knocked in the 90th minute winner to ease tension amongst a nervous Falkirk Stadium crowd.
Alston’s tap-in wasthe third time the Bairns had led, and they had twice been pegged back by Buddies midfielder Stevie Mallan.
The Bairns drafted Myles Hippolyte back into the starting line-up and he replaced Paul Watson in a switch which moved Will Vaulks to centre-back.
Hippolyte, suspended last week was involved from the start and was a persistent thorn in the side of Jack Baird in the Saints defence.
It was the winger’s cross, and defender’s poor clearance which gave the Bairns the lead with Lee Miller nodding in at the backpost after nine minutes.
The Bairns were in control and Saints only threatened in the final minute of the half with Aaron Muirhead heading out for a corner.
After the break they were a different proposition and Danny Rogers beat away a Rocco Quinn drive just two minutes before the scores were levelled.
After the goalkeeper’s block Falkirk went back on the attack but Saints scrambled a corner clear and ex-Shire forward Cal Gallagher was clean through. Tom Taiwo held him up and as the two tangled on the edge of the box the Bairns midfielder tumbled and stopped the ball with his hand. Andrew Dallas gave a free-kick and it was curled in well by Stevie Mallan.
With Hibs struggling at Alloa Falkirk’s points were more vital than ever and the Bairns pressed forward and went close. Lee Miller’s point-blank header was pawed off the line by Jamie Langfield and a bullet header from Will Vaulks smacked the junction of post and crossbar on 69 minutes.
The pressure told a minute later with Saints unable to clear.
Another corner from Blair Alston created a penalty box scramble and the ball was turned in by sub Bob McHugh, on for John Baird.
But Mallan again equalised for Saints, scoring from a cut-back pass from the right wing and beating Rogers from 16 yards out.
The Bairns had turned the tide on the Buddies in their first meeting of the season, and though the away side threatened to do likewise it was another late winner for Falkirk which settled the tie.
Andrew Dallas’ final whistle was greeted by a huge cheer, and followed seconds later by another as the result from Recreation Park was announced, where Hibs had lost 1-0 to Jack Ross’ already relegated Alloa.