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Page last updated at 16:51 GMT, Saturday, 10 January 2009

Falkirk 4-2 Queen of the South

By Andy Campbell

Barry Wilson and Tam Scobbie
Falkirk's Tam Scobbie (left) is tracked by Wilson

Falkirk reached the fifth round of the Scottish Cup after overcoming plucky Queen of the South.

Scott Arfield's 37th-minute penalty put Falkirk in front from the penalty spot, but Queens equalised before half-time with a deflected Barry Wilson shot.

Bob Harris' superb free-kick put the visitors in front early in the second half, but Arfield quickly equalised.

Graham Barrett put the Bairns back in front on 68 minutes and the striker slotted in a fourth late on.

Falkirk started strongly in the wet and windy conditions and Queens goalkeeper Lee Robinson twice denied Barrett in the opening minutes.

At the other end, Steve Tosh's left-foot shot from the edge of the box went harmlessly wide.

Referee Charlie Richmond pointed to the spot after Queens defender Craig Barr tugged Barrett's shirt in the area and Arfield converted the resultant penalty.

The Bairns continued to press forward and Martin Lancaster made a crucial tackle on Barrett as the striker tried to get on the end of Arfield's low driven cross.

Queen of the South levelled when Wilson's shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off Lee Bullen and flew past goalkeeper Robert Olejnik.

The visitors took the lead three minutes into the second half after Falkirk captain Darren Barr was penalised on the edge of the box for a challenge on Stewart Kean.

Falkirk midfielder Scott Arfield
Arfield celebrates his spot-kick opener at the Falkirk Stadium

From the indirect free-kick, Harris rifled the ball into the net with a stunning strike.

But Falkirk were level within seconds as Neil McCann's cross to the edge of the box was driven low past Robinson by Arfield.

Michael Higdon headed wide from Bullen's teasing back-post cross before Kean's tame header was claimed by Olejnik.

Falkirk regained the lead when Barrett slammed home a rebound shot from close range after Robinson had blocked Darren Barr's controlled volley.

Higdon should have extended Falkirk's advantage when he struck the Queens crossbar with a header and then fired the rebound over from inside the six-yard box with the goal gaping.

Queens, who were beaten in last season's final by Rangers, went in search of an equaliser and Kean headed wide from substitute Sean O'Connor's cross.

Barrett sealed Falkirk's win with nine minutes remaining when he side-footed home from Mark Stewart's slide rule pass, with Queens claiming unsuccessfully for a foul in the build-up to the goal.

Stewart was booked after referee Richmond adjudged the midfielder to have dived in the box and the substitute then came close with a shot from the edge of the area near the full-time whistle.

Falkirk manager John Hughes:
"We made it difficult for ourselves but we showed a bit of character in the second half to come back and win the game.

"I'm pleased to have scored four goals but it's disappointing to concede two.

"With the overhead conditions, it wasn't great for football but the two teams gave it everything.

"Overall, I'm just delighted to be in the next round."

Queen of the South manager Gordon Chisholm:
"In the first half, we gave a silly penalty away. We got an equaliser and I was quite happy.

"In the second half, Bob Harris scored a great free-kick and then I think we were just na´ve.

"They say that you're most vulnerable as soon as you've scored a goal and I think that was proved today. We've got in front and then allowed ourselves to concede goals.

"At the fourth goal, I thought there was a foul at the edge of the box. I could see (our player) getting his jumper pulled but the linesman obviously never saw it."

Falkirk: Olejnik, Bullen (Holden 80), Scobbie, Barr, McNamara, McBride, McCann, Arfield, Barrett, O'Brien (Mark Stewart 67), Higdon (Finnigan 79).
Subs Not Used: Riera, Andrews.

Booked: Higdon, Mark Stewart.

Goals: Arfield 37 pen, 48, Barrett 68, 81.

Queen of South: Robinson, McLaughlan, Harris, MacFarlane, Barr, Lancaster, Wilson (Burns 86), Tosh (O'Connor 72), Kean, Robertson (Dobbie 72), McQuilken.
Subs Not Used: Halliwell, Reid.

Booked: Barr, Wilson, Harris.

Goals: Wilson 41, Harris 48.

Att: 3,423

Ref: C Richmond

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Falkirk's Scott Arfield and Graham Barrett 8.00 (on 90 minutes).

Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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see also
Scottish Cup as it happened
10 Jan 09 |  Scottish Cups
Scottish Cup photo gallery
10 Jan 09 |  Scotland

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