Falkirk 4 Forfar 0: Hippolyte’s the hat-trick hero

The former Livi man caught Marc McCallum out with this early strike. Picture Michael Gillen.
The former Livi man caught Marc McCallum out with this early strike. Picture Michael Gillen.

Falkirk cruised to top spot in the Betfred Cup group A and could well be one of the seeded sides in sunday’s draw.

This win over the League One newcomers was as comfortable as it was impressive, especially in the first half.

Each of Hippolyte's strikes was a stunner. Picture Michael Gillen.

Each of Hippolyte's strikes was a stunner. Picture Michael Gillen.

Myles Hippolyte was a man on a mission from the start and fired a hat-trick, with a messy header from the prolific Nathan Austin thrown in for good measure.

The striker also hit the crossbar with a header to James Craigen’s supply, despite Simon Mensing’s menacing and constant presence.

Scott Shepherd replaced Austin at the break but by that point the Bairns were settled and cruising and playing some excellent attractive football.

It began well and continued in that vein with little to no let up for the struggling Loons.

Nathan Austin was in on the action in front of goal too. Picture by Michael Gillen.

Nathan Austin was in on the action in front of goal too. Picture by Michael Gillen.

Hippolyte opened the scoring with a wonder strike after eight minutes, out-muscling Simon Mensing in an aerial challenge and then stroking a half-volley beyond Marc McCallum with the outside of his boot.

It was a wonderful finish and as far removed from Nathan Austin’s follow-up -- but they all count the same. A cross from Joe McKee was met by the Bairns prolific forward and the contact was messy, and perhaps a combination of shoulder, head and neck, but it was tucked tightly inside the post and far enough away from McCallum’s reach.

Austin had also seen a header knock the top of the crossbar but the evening belonged to Hippolyte and his mixture of power and poise.

He thumped the third in with a rocket on 38 minutes when a Craigen corner was cleared to him on the edge of the box.

Myles Hippolyte finished the fourth. Picture Michael Gillen.

Myles Hippolyte finished the fourth. Picture Michael Gillen.

Just after half-time he smacked another in off a retreating defender and the crossbar to put the Bairns four up.

It seems unfair to proceed further with the report without mentioning the scoring duo’s third prong in attack - Rory Loy, who put in a typicaly intelligent and hard-working shift alongside the goalscorers.

So to was Mark Kerr’s involvement welcome, at the expense of Tom Taiwo left watching in the stand.

A clever knock-on by the veteran released Nathan Austin just before the break but only earned the Bairns one of nine corners.

Alongside him Joe McKee almost gave the Bairns a fifth with an effort that struck the juncture of post and crossbar just before the hour and then Shepherd was foiled by McCallum’s great save five minutes later.

The defence was barely troubled and Robbie Thomson’s involement was restricted to back-passes and one strike from Marc Scott that flew wide and high.

Hat-trick hero Hippolyte and Loy were both subbed to a standing ovation and replaced by Kevin O’Hara and Lee Miller on 65 minutes.

The latter stages of the game were held up for several minutes for head knocks to Luca Gasparotto and Tony Gallacher and then Scott Shepherd, but the Bairns saw it out and comfortably too.