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  Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 01:01 GMT
Mighty Falkirk stun Hearts
Collin Samuel fires the first of his three goals
Collin Samuel fires the first of his three goals
Falkirk 4-0 Hearts

Falkirk produced an outstanding first-half performance to book their place in the Scottish Cup fourth-round draw at the expense of a woeful Hearts side.

Collin Samuel opened the scoring in the second minute and within another 15 minutes, the home side were three ahead thanks to goals by Owen Coyle and Samuel again.

Samuel completed his hat-trick just after the half-hour mark, and although the second half was a quieter affair, Falkirk had already done the job.

Falkirk came so close to a perfect start when Samuel broke free in the first minute and though his shot beat Hearts keeper Craig Gordon, the ball came back off the inside the post.

But the home side had only a minute to wait until the opening goal did arrive, and it was Samuel who got it, turning his man on the edge of the box before rifling the ball past Gordon.

Samuel leaves Steven Pressley for dead
Samuel leaves Steven Pressley for dead
Hearts were handed a good chance to equalise in 10 minutes when Phil Stamp got the break of the ball as he surged through on goal, but his shot flashed across the goal and wide.

Moments later, a Jean Louis Valois cross almost deceived Allan Ferguson in the Falkirk goal as it came back off the bar.

But in 13 minutes, having survived a loud claim for a free kick on the edge of their own box, Falkirk were two ahead, Coyle beating the offside trap to latch onto John Henry's pass to coolly slot the ball past Gordon.

And three minutes later, Samuel added the third, breaking free of the Hearts defence to beat Gordon again.

The pace of the game slowed slightly after that incredible opening, but with 31 minutes gone, Samuel completed his hat-trick.

Steven Pressley's attempted clearing header was woeful, falling straight into Samuel's path, and the frontman sped clear of Pressley and his fellow defenders to chip the ball beautifully over Gordon.

Hearts players show their dejection
Hearts players show their dejection
A minute later, Lee Miller came within a couple of inches of adding a fifth when he hit the bar from 12 yards out as Falkirk's superiority grew.

Mark de Vries hit a powerful shot from 18 yards, but unfortunately for the Hearts striker it was straight at Ferguson.

Hearts started the second half in far more determined fashion, but Coyle and Miller were both unfortunate not to add to the Bairns' lead.

The visitors were given a sniff of a chance when Valois' long cross was dropped by Ferguson, but he pounced on the ball before De Vries could take advantage.

Valois saw a left-foot shot curl wide midway through the half and then De Vries headed wide, but Falkirk were still well in control.

Falkirk might have had a penalty when Andy Webster appeared to take Miller out of the game just inside the box, but referee Willie Young saw nothing amiss.


Falkirk: Ferguson, Hughes, MacKenzie, Nicholls, McPherson, Henry, Kerr, Coyle, Rennie, Miller, Samuel (McSween 84).
Subs Not Used: Rodgers, Creaney, Cringean, Hill.

Hearts: Gordon, Maybury, Pressley, McKenna, Mahe, Boyack (Webster 19), Stamp, MacFarlane (Severin 66), Valois, de Vries, Weir (Wales 65).
Subs Not Used: Simmons, Moilanen.

Attendance: 7,500
Referee: Willie Young

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Scotland's Alastair Alexander
"Joy for Falkirk and their fans"
Falkirk boss Ian McCall
"We really ran them ragged"
Falkirk's Collin Samuel
"It was very special"
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Links to more Scottish Cup stories are at the foot of the page.


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