Livingston went six points adrift at the bottom of the Championship after a torrid performance in the opening exchanges consigned them to defeat.
An away trip to Peter Houston’s in-form side was always going to be tough, although having played well against champions-elect Hearts in consecutive games, manager Mark Burchill could not hide his disappointment at the manner in which his side fell two goals behind so early in the game.
“We’d spoken to the players about how well they’d competed over the last couple of weeks against Hearts and how they’d bridged the gap between the top and the bottom, but that first half was unacceptable,” said Burchill.
Livingston’s troubles began in the eighth minute when right-back Kieran Duffie’s unchecked run allowed him to charge into the penalty area and head home Craig Sibbald’s cross.
Sibbald was the creator again eight minutes later. The midfielder received and returned a short pass from Will Vaulks before the Englishman slammed the ball high into the net.
John Baird should have extended the lead when he took one touch too many when through on goal, while Vaulks was denied by an excellent Darren Jamieson save as Falkirk bombarded the Livingston goal right up until the break.
Following the restart, Falkirk controlled proceedings, but never got anywhere near the quality of their first-half showing.
It was enough to carry them to the victory, extending their excellent run to one defeat in 14, although the dip was enough to concern Houston ahead of next week’s meeting with Rangers.
“I had a pop at the players for their second-half performance,” said Houston.
“If we were playing Rangers and played like that in the second half then they would have taken three or four off us.”