Taylor nets a hat-trick in Falkirk's defeat to Middlesbrough

Lyle Taylor with the match ball after completing a hat-trick
Lyle Taylor with the match ball after completing a hat-trick

Falkirk hit three goals but still lost the Ramsdens Trophy in a high-scoring match with Middlesbrough.

Lyle Taylor blasted a hat-trick but goals from Emmanuel Ledesma, Grant Leadbitter, Scott McDonald and Nicky Bailey added to Luke Williams' double handed Tony Mowbray's side the trophy.

The Bairns were far from their previous selves on their pre-season tour and Hearts in midweek but still managed to find the net three times in the 7-3 defeat.

Boro were riddled with experience, but were never clearly out of Falkirk's sights.

Flashes of brilliance, and defensive frailty from Falkirk swung the match and the trophy in the Teesside club's favour.

The Bairns made the most of their chances though and Lyle Taylor turned in Andy Haworth's cross after only nine minutes as Falkirk burst into life.

But a double from Luke Williams - first heading in unchallenegd at the back-post and then charging through four Bairns defenders and thumping beyomnd Michael McGovern - put Middlesbrough ahead.

The Championship hopefuls surged further ahead with a header from Leadbitter when he outmuscled Stephen Kingsley to meet Adam Reach's cross, but Lyle Taylor capitalised on defensive mistakes at the other end to lash the Bairns to within a goal of the visitors.

He put them on level terms minutes after the interval when Stuart Parnaby tripped Andy Haworth and Taylor sent Jason Leutwiler the wrong way from the spot.

The Champions League 'regular' put in a sterling shift up-front but the remaining goals were all at the opposite end with Bailey, Ledesma and ex-Celtic forward Scott McDonald earning Middlesbrough the trophy and bragging rights for the 324 Boro fans who made the trip to Falkirk with a double, though Kieran Duffie did his best to reduce the margin, and cut in from the right wing to have a close-range drive tipped over by sub goalie Connor Ripley.