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Page last updated at 20:42 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 21:42 UK

Raith Rovers 1-3 Falkirk

Scottish League Cup

Falkirk squeezed past 10-man Raith Rovers to take their place in the third round of the Co-op Insurance.

Michael Higdon struck the opener on 16 minutes and John Stewart converted a penalty kick after namesake Mark was felled by Raith keeper David McGurn.

Raith's Allan Walker was shown a straight red card on the hour mark for a reckless tackle on Thomas Scobie.

The loss galvanised Raith and Michael Stewart got one back on 74 minutes but Mark Stewart's header ended the tie.

Ironically, Raith were enjoying the territorial advantage when Higdon finished off the first chance of the match in the 16th minute.

Mark Stewart returned his pass from the left flank and the big striker slotted home from 10 yards.

Despite some pressure from set pieces, Raith could not carve out an opening and they were undone by some hesitant defending that led to the penalty.

The home defence was caught ball-watching after Higdon headed on Lee Bullen's long ball.

Mark Stewart cut across the box to reach the loose ball just before McGurn.

Stewart was already falling over when McGurn crashed into him, but the Rovers keeper made no complaint when ref Craig Thomson pointed to the spot and booked him.

John Stewart sent McGurn the wrong way as his 35th-minute penalty slammed into the top corner.

The goal took the sting out of the Second Division side and Higdon had two more half-chances before the break.

The former Crewe striker headed just wide of the far post following John Stewart's cross and then shot a yard over from long range following a good passing move.

Raith recaptured their belief in the early stages of the second half and pushed back Falkirk, who lost Jackie McNamara at half-time.

Gareth Wardlaw almost had a sight of goal as he attacked Andrew Cook's left-wing cross but the ball bounced awkwardly just in front of him and spun away.

Raith suffered another blow in the 58th minute when Walker received a straight red card after raising his studs in a challenge on Scobbie, who had come on for McNamara.

But they kept pushing forward and Wardlaw might have been better shooting after chesting down a long ball in the box; instead his pass for Kevin Smith was cut out.

Raith's efforts were rewarded in the 74th minute when Campbell finished off a slick move involving Smith and Ferry from 12 yards.

Falkirk finally began to make their extra man count and McGurn blocked brilliantly from Mark Stewart after the ball fell kindly for the Falkirk

youngster on the edge of the box.

But the same player was soon celebrating when he headed home a brilliant inswinging cross from Gerard Aafjes to finish the tie off with six minutes left.


Raith: McGurn, Wilson, Ellis, Silvestro (Guerrero 86), Cook, Sloan (Ferry 23), Walker, Campbell, Wardlaw (Bryce 85), Smith, Weir. Subs Not Used: O'Connor, Wedderburn.

Sent Off: Walker (58).

Booked: Silvestro, McGurn.

Goals: Campbell 74.

Falkirk: Olejnik, McNamara (Scobbie 46), Barr, Bullen, Aafjes, McBride, Cregg (Mitchell 67), Arfield, John Stewart (Barrett 60), Higdon, Mark Stewart. Subs Not Used: Flinders, McCaffrey.

Booked: Cregg.

Goals: Higdon 16, John Stewart 35 pen, Mark Stewart 84.

Att: 2,090

Ref: Craig Thomson (Scotland).




see also
Hughes hits out at ref's chief
26 Aug 08 |  Falkirk


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