Dundee United player-manager Craig Brewster is under intense pressure after watching his side comprehensively outplayed by a rampant Falkirk.
The drubbing at Falkirk has put Brewster on the brink
Russell Latapy gave the home side the lead in the second minute and Anthony Stokes hit a hat-trick which included a penalty against a dispirited United.
Collin Samuel pulled one back for the visitors before Mark Twaddle converted Latapy's cross.
Noel Hunt was sent off to compound the SPL basement side's misery.
Brewster made five changes to his team but his afternoon could not have got off to a worse start, as his struggling side fell behind in only the second minute thanks to a crisp finish by Falkirk playmaker Latapy.
Stokes cut the ball back from the left wing towards the penalty spot and Latapy lashed the ball home.
Hunt was the visitors' most impressive player and, in the 32nd minute, was unfortunate to see an effort strike the woodwork.
Grant Smith's powerful shot was deflected into the striker's path, but Hunt's hooked effort drew a good save from Jeroen Lambers, who managed to push the ball against the base of his near post.
United fell further behind when a slip by David Proctor allowed Stokes to double the home side's advantage.
Falkirk extended their lead when Stokes did well to fend off the attentions of Lee Mair on the left-hand corner of the area and clinically sent a low shot into the far corner.
The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 67th minute as Hunt inexplicably picked up two cautions for late tackles in a mad-cap six-minute spell.
Brewster's side appeared to improve with 10 men though as substitute Craig Conway, who had come on for David Goodwillie three minutes before Hunt's sending off, crossed for Samuel to pull a goal back with a close-range finish.
However, Falkirk finished on a high when Twaddle scored from barely a yard out following Latapy's 75th-minute free-kick.
And Stokes scored his third from the spot in the 89th minute after Wilkie had hauled him down in the box.
Falkirk: Lambers, Ross, Twaddle (Scobbie 78), Barr, Milne, Latapy, Cregg, Thomson (Lima 80), O'Donnell (Craig 84), Gow, Stokes. Subs Not Used: Higgins, Moutinho, McManus, Dodd.
Goals: Latapy 2, Stokes 39, 48, Twaddle 75, Stokes 89 pen.
Dundee Utd: McLean, Mair, McCracken, Wilkie, Proctor (Samuel 46), Burnett (Kerr 46), Robson, Smith, Cameron, Hunt, Goodwillie (Conway 66). Subs Not Used: Stillie, Archibald, Kenneth, Easton.
Sent Off: Hunt (67).
Booked: Cameron, Robson, Hunt.
Goals: Samuel 69.
Ref: D McDonald.