Falkirk claim semi-final berth

Falkirk progressed to the semi-finals of the Scottish Cup after

surviving a spirited comeback from Hamilton to win 2-1 at New

Douglas Park.

Two goals from Blair Alston gave the Accies the advantage but

they had to survive a nervous end to the contest after substitute

Andy Ryan pulled a goal back 16 minutes from time.

The first decent opportunity of the game fell to Hamilton’s Jon

Routledge but he shot just wide after Gary Fisher had played him

in.

Fisher then had a chance to score himself after outwitting a

slumbering Falkirk defence but his effort lacked power and the

chance went begging.

The visitors battled back and almost took the lead through

Alston after he intercepted a loose pass from Routledge only for

Accies goalkeeper Kevin Cuthbert to make a comfortable save.

Cuthbert was then called upon to pull off a stunning stop to

keep out striker David Weatherston’s drive as the tempo of the game

increased.

Fisher then went close at the other end with a shot that fizzed

just wide of the mark before the defender played in Louis

Longridge, who drilled his effort beyond the post.

Hamilton were then made to pay for their profligacy in front of

goal a minute before the break as Alston nipped in to score from

close range.

Falkirk almost doubled their lead after the restart, Lyle

Taylor’s shot coming back off the crossbar, with Sean Higgins doing

well to deny Cuthbert as he reached the rebound first.

The home side rallied though and Michael Devlin headed over

before Alston pounced again in spectacular fashion to grab his

second goal of the contest.

Hamilton failed to clear a Weatherston corner and Alston

volleyed into the top corner from 25 yards (71).

Again Billy Reid’s rallied and they pulled a goal back just

three minutes later through Ryan, who slotted home after keeper

Michael McGovern could only parry Fisher’s shot into his path.

Ryan should have equalised but he somehow guided the ball over

from just two yards after Stevie May had played him in.

Jonathan Page also went close with a header that missed the mark

and the same player was sent off late on for a high two-footed

challenge on Taylor.