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Page last updated at 20:32 GMT, Tuesday, 23 September 2008 21:32 UK

Falkirk 2-1 Queen of the South

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Highlights: Falkirk v Queen of the South

Steve Lovell's first goal for Falkirk saw them edge past Queen of the South into the quarter-finals of the Co-operative Insurance Cup.

Falkirk broke the deadlock on the half hour mark when Jackie McNamara crossed for fellow veteran Neil McCann to volley the ball high past Cameron Bell.

Queens rallied after the break and Stewart Kean deservedly drew them level after 58 minutes with a neat lob.

Lovell struck the winner 17 minutes from time with a cool solo finish.

Queens, boosted by the return of Steve Tosh following suspension, almost made the perfect start inside two minutes.

However, left-back Bob Harris saw his 18-yard free-kick deflected over after McCann had been sloppy in gifting the visitors possession.

The Bairns replied when Lovell - making his first start - laid the ball back for McCann, who clipped a left-footed effort just too high.

The First Division outfit were already beginning to close ranks and frustrate, but a neat Falkirk move almost came to fruition after 17 minutes only for Barrett to skew wide from Michael Higdon's chest down.

Misplaced passes were hindering the hosts' effort in the final third and Kevin McBride tried to take matters into his own hands, only to rifle a 30-yard drive wide of target.

But the goal Falkirk craved arrived just seconds from the half-hour mark.

Following a number of passes in midfield, McNamara collected the ball close to the right touch-line.

The former Scotland international's cross drifted over the head of Higdon, but McCann wrapped his foot around a left-foot volley that flew past the helpless Bell.

Queens had barely been seen as an attacking force, yet they passed up a glorious opportunity in the 37th-minute after Tosh's quick free-kick caught the hosts cold and Jim Thomson nodded his free header over.

The Dumfries side, last season's Scottish Cup finalists, started the second period in far more positive fashion, with Stephen Dobbie soon curling just past.

It was a warning Falkirk failed to heed as Gordon Chisholm's men equalised a minute before the hour mark.

Scott Robertson's ball down the right was simply not dealt with by the Bairns and Kean took full advantage to lift the ball over Robert Olejnik.

Queens had finally sprung to life and Hughes sought to stem the tide by throwing on Patrick Cregg and Burton O'Brien.

The tactic immediately paid dividend, as Cregg released Lovell, who sprung the offside trap to race in on goal, round Bell and slot home.

Falkirk head coach John Hughes:
"They are a good side, we've had them watched and wish them all the best in their pursuit to try and get into the SPL. They'll certainly be there or thereabouts.

"We knew how difficult it would be and it turned out that way.

"I think we've got a bit of ourselves to blame for that. We were well in control of the game, back to our best in the first half, but we didn't start the second half well.

"But we showed plenty character to go on and win the match.

"There was a possibility the winning goal could have been offside. But, in saying that, I felt their goal could have been offside as well."

Queen of the South manager Gordon Chisholm:
"I haven't seen the winning goal, but I've been told it was definitely offside from the TV cameras.

"My boys thought it was off at the time, so obviously, if it was, I'm disappointed to go out the cup with that decision.

"I've spoken to the officials and they seem to think they were right, but I've been told by the TV cameras he is definitely off.

"I was disappointed with the performance in the first half, we sat too deep and I think paid Falkirk too much respect and allowed them too much room.

"I thought in the second half we did much better. We got back into it at 1-1 and I thought the game could have gone possibly any way."

Falkirk: Olejnik, McNamara, Scobbie, Aafjes, Barr, McBride, Arfield (Cregg 65), McCann, Barrett (Mark Stewart 89), Lovell, Higdon (O'Brien 70). Subs Not Used: Flinders, Bullen.

Booked: Higdon, Aafjes, Cregg.

Goals: McCann 29, Lovell 73.

Queen of South: Bell, Barr, Harris, MacFarlane, Sives, Thomson, Robertson (Simmons 80), Tosh, Kean, Dobbie, Arbuckle (McGowan 80).Subs Not Used: Halliwell, Parratt, Reid.

Booked: Barr, Thomson.

Goals: Kean 58.

Att: 2,058

Ref: E Smith (Scotland).

see also
Co-op Cup photo gallery
23 Sep 08 |  Scottish Cups

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