Two second-half goals gave 10-man Dundee United a clear victory at a blustery Tannadice.
Barry Robson is congratulated by his team mate Willo Flood
Following a poor first half, Noel Hunt opened the scoring with a 58th-minute strike after going one-on-one with Falkirk goalkeeper Tim Krul.
With 20 minutes remaining, Morgaro Gomis was shown a second yellow card, but the depleted United held out.
Six minutes from time, Barry Robson's superb free-kick consigned Falkirk to their fourth straight SPL defeat.
Falkirk looked the more threatening side in the opening stages, forcing several early corners and maintaining the pressure on United.
With only 54 seconds on the clock, Falkirk's Pedro Moutinho blasted in a right-footed shot from 20 yards out on the left, which Darren Dods managed to block.
In the eighth minute, Falkirk captain Russell Latapy delivered a corner from the right that Darren Dods attempted to clear but succeeded only in heading the ball against the top of his own crossbar.
Referee Iain Brines waved away penalty claims when the United players thought a cross from Prince Buaben had struck the arm of debutant Gerard Aafjes on its way through to Krul.
With 20 minutes gone, Robson blasted in a right-footed shot 25 yards out on the right, but Krul managed to beat it away.
The remainder of the first half offered little in the way of scoring opportunities for either side and the teams headed in for the break with the score still deadlocked.
Shortly after the interval, Hunt finally opened the scoring for United when Jordan Robertson nodded on to let the former Dunfermline man go solo with Grzegorz Szamotulski.
Hunt then finished with ease to record his third goal of the season, coolly slotting the ball in to the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
Russell Latapy is challenged by United's Lee Wilkie
Moments later, Latapy replied at the other end with a right-footed shot inside the penalty area, but Sean Dillon blocked and United were spared.
The pace picked up as time ticked out and, in the 68th minute, Moutinho drilled in a right-footed effort from the left that Szamotulski managed to parry.
Seconds later, Robertson volleyed in a 20-yard effort from the left, but Krul held well.
With 20 minutes left to play, United were reduced to 10 men when Gomis was handed his second yellow card of the day for pulling Latapy back in midfield.
Despite the deficit, United kept up the pressure in the latter stages of the match, with good work from Christian Kalvenes and Robertson.
The Taysiders then increased their lead when captain Robson converted a free-kick in the 83rd minute after Aafjes fouled Robertson on the edge of the penalty area.
The Scotland international stepped up and sent the ball curving around the wall to put the match beyond John Hughes' beleaguered side.
Dundee Utd: Szamotulski, Dillon, Wilkie, Dods, Kalvenes, Flood, Bauben, Gomis, Robson, Hunt (Kerr 80), Jordan Robertson. Subs Not Used: McLean, David Robertson, Kenneth, Duff, Goodwillie, Johnny Russell.
Sent Off: Gomis (70). Booked: Gomis.
Goals: Hunt 58, Robson 84.
Falkirk: Krul, Ross, Aafjes, Barr, Holden (Finnigan 77), Moutinho, Cregg, Thomson (Craig 85), Barrett (Arfield 77), Latapy, Higdon. Subs Not Used: Olejnik, Allison, Wallner, Scobbie.
Ref: I Brines