FALKIRK boosted morale ahead of next weekend’s eagerly anticipated visit of Rangers as they swept aside Cowdenbeath to move back into the Championship promotion places.
A brace from Mark Millar, the midfielder’s first goals since returning on loan from Dundee United, Rory Loy’s ninth of the season and a first-ever league strike from 17-year-old Scott Shepherd ensured confidence will be high for Saturday’s Scottish Cup tie. Bairns manager Gary Holt said: “The win just builds momentum and breeds confidence. It’s been hard trying not to focus on the Rangers game this week, but we know it’s there, we know it’s coming. We had to get today out of the way, we had to turn up and put a performance in.
“We did that and now they’re talking about it. Now, there’s a wee buzz and another wee spring in their step and that comes from having a positive result.”
For all Falkirk’s dominance in the first half, the surprise was that the counter-attacking Cowdenbeath, who hit the bar with Kenny Adamson’s curling free-kick and created a string of chances on the break, failed to get their noses in front.
However, the Bairns finally found the cutting edge their neat passing and intelligent movement deserved after the interval.
Five minutes in, a Phil Roberts shot fell for Sibbald and, when the midfielder laid the ball off, Millar powerfully speared his drive into the net from 20 yards out.
With 16 minutes remaining Jay Fulton’s coruscating run past three defenders and his cutback was lashed gleefully in by Loy.
Millar put the gloss on the result in the 83rd minute and substitute Shepherd finished the scoring with three minutes to go.
“The first half means nothing,” moaned Cowdenbeath manager Colin Cameron. “It was the second week in a row we conceded a goal and just accepted it.”