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Last Updated: Monday, 1 January 2007, 16:53 GMT
Dundee Utd 1-5 Falkirk
Alan Gow celebrates with Patrick Cregg
Alan Gow and Patrick Cregg both scored at Tannadice
Alan Gow scored a hat-trick as Falkirk began life without top scorer Anthony Stokes by sweeping aside Dundee United.

Patrick Cregg opened the scoring for Falkirk from the penalty spot after being brought down by Garry Kenneth.

Barry Robson headed United level, but Stephen O'Donnell fired Falkirk back into the lead.

Fit-again Gow, in for the departed Stokes, supplied the third with a quick turn and shot, added the fourth from 18 yards and fired in the fifth.

Gow had replaced the teenager, who signed off with a hat-trick against Inverness on Saturday before heading back to Arsenal, after recovering from flu.

United boss Craig Levein had gone with an unchanged starting line-up for the third game running, but full-backs Stuart Duff and Lee Mair switched flanks.

And it took Gow just four minutes to make an impact against the restructured defence, goalkeeper Derek Stillie taking two attempts to gather his powerful drive.

United paid for their sluggish start after 16 minutes, although it was in controversial fashion.

Kenneth appeared to get a touch on the ball as Cregg forced his way into the box.

But referee Dougie McDonald pointed to the spot despite home protests and the midfielder swept the ball home from the spot.

United produced an equaliser against the run of play, captain Robson scoring with a superb header from 14 yards following a Duff cross.

Barry Robson celebrates his goal against Falkirk
Barry Robson scored the equaliser for Dundee United

Falkirk restored the leader following some midfield magic from Russell Latapy before O'Donnell sent in a fierce angled drive that flew past Stillie and hit the back of the net via a post.

Kenneth missed a chance for an equaliser early after the break when he headed over from six yards after a Robson cross.

Craig Conway and Duff then went close with a powerful efforts from distance and Collin Samuel was just a whisker away from levelling with a shot that hit the side-netting.

But Falkirk secured the points when Gow turned David McCracken before sending a measured shot beyond Stillie.

Gow got his second when he raced clear of the home defence and netted with a low drive from the edge of the area.

And he completed a remarkable performance when he lashed the ball home from eight yards.

Dundee Utd: Stillie, Mair (Proctor 71), McCracken, Kenneth, Duff, Robson, Kerr (Gomis 78), Smith (Goodwillie 65), Conway, Samuel, Robertson.
Subs Not Used: McLean, Archibald, Cameron, Watson.

Booked: Kenneth.

Goal: Robson 41.

Falkirk: Lambers, Ross, Uras, Dodd, Milne, Barr, Cregg, Lima (Thomson 82), O'Donnell (Craig 47), Gow, Latapy (John Stewart 80).
Subs Not Used: Higgins, McManus, Twaddle, Scobbie.

Booked: Milne.

Goals: Cregg 17 pen, O'Donnell 45, Gow 63, 76, 89.

Att: 6,261

Ref: D McDonald

Levein writes off sorry Utd show
01 Jan 07 |  Dundee Utd
Hughes tips Gow for high honours
01 Jan 07 |  Falkirk


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