Scottish Championship
Falkirk1Raith Rovers0

Falkirk 1-0 Raith Rovers

Lee Miller
Lee Miller came off the bench to score the only goal in Falkirk's win over Raith Rovers

Falkirk climbed within nine points of Scottish Championship leaders Hibernian with a deserved win over Raith Rovers.

Striker Lee Miller came off the bench to score a late winner for the Bairns, who leapfrog Morton into second place.

The goal was no more than Falkirk's play merited, having long bombarded Rovers goalkeeper Pavol Penska.

The Fife side drop to eighth, two points clear of the relegation play-off spot, and have won only two league matches since October.

Penska made impressive saves to deny Lewis Kidd and John Baird in the first half, as the Bairns started brightly.

Bob McHugh had the ball in the net after neat play from Luke Leahy and Craig Sibbald, but the striker was flagged offside.

The hosts' dominance continued after the break, and Slovakian stopper Penska did brilliantly to prevent what looked like a certain own goal, before McHugh rattled his crossbar with a shot on the turn.

Replacement Miller finally broke Rovers' resistance 19 minutes from time, when he was left unmarked to guide home a sweeping cross from fellow substitute James Craigen - the veteran's ninth goal of the season.

Once the Bairns had hit the front, there was little prospect of the Kirkcaldy club rescuing a point. No Rovers striker has scored an away goal in the Championship since October.

To add insult to injury, Lewis Vaughan, the Raith forward on loan at Dumbarton, scored the winner for their relegation rivals against Morton, moving the Sons above them in the table, although that deal was done before John Hughes replaced Gary Locke as manager.

Falkirk manager Peter Houston: "We finished second last year but we didn't deal well with the play-off final second leg against Kilmarnock, or we might already be in the top league, but I have no doubt we will have learned from that.

"The players, backroom staff and myself will know how to go about it if we get in that position again and handle it better.

"We certainly know what is at stake and we are in a good position now, but there's lots to play for as we go to Tannadice next weekend, so we won't take anything for granted."

Raith Rovers manager John Hughes: "To me, Lewis (Vaughan) is one of the best players at the club and he should never have gone on loan.

"But we just have to get on with it, even if I'm going to strangle him when he comes into training on Monday.

"He is a professional who is doing his job for Dumbarton, that is his club at this moment, even though it's come back to bite us on the backside. We have to look after ourselves."

Line-ups

Falkirk

  • 24Thomson
  • 2Kidd
  • 14GrantBooked at 59mins
  • 15Gasparotto
  • 3Leahy
  • 33AirdSubstituted forCraigenat 65'minutes
  • 7Taiwo
  • 10Sibbald
  • 11HippolyteBooked at 45mins
  • 9BairdSubstituted forMillerat 65'minutes
  • 19McHugh

Substitutes

  • 4Muirhead
  • 8Kerr
  • 16Austin
  • 18Miller
  • 21Shepherd
  • 26McMinn
  • 28Craigen

Raith Rovers

  • 36Penksa
  • 6BenedictusSubstituted forRobertsat 80'minutes
  • 5Mvoto
  • 55BarrBooked at 79mins
  • 3McHattieBooked at 35mins
  • 4CallachanSubstituted forHandlingat 45'minutes
  • 14Davidson
  • 21ThompsonBooked at 73mins
  • 7Johnston
  • 20McManus
  • 52Hardie

Substitutes

  • 11Barr
  • 18Roberts
  • 19Skacel
  • 22Handling
  • 23Brennan
  • 26Court
Referee:
Nick Walsh
Attendance:
4,823

Match Stats

Home TeamFalkirkAway TeamRaith Rovers
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home12
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away1
Fouls
Home12
Away20

Live Text

Match ends, Falkirk 1, Raith Rovers 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Falkirk 1, Raith Rovers 0.

Peter Grant (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers).

Jordan Thompson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Sibbald (Falkirk).

Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Robert McHugh (Falkirk).

Craig Barr (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Scott Roberts.

Attempt blocked. Robert McHugh (Falkirk) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Luca Gasparotto (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers).

Peter Grant (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers).

Foul by Myles Hippolyte (Falkirk).

Iain Davidson (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Raith Rovers. Scott Roberts replaces Kyle Benedictus because of an injury.

Booking

Craig Barr (Raith Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lee Miller (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Craig Barr (Raith Rovers).

Lee Miller (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Jean-Yves Mvoto (Raith Rovers).

Foul by Myles Hippolyte (Falkirk).

Declan McManus (Raith Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Lewis Kidd (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Chris Johnston (Raith Rovers).

Booking

Jordan Thompson (Raith Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Tom Taiwo (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jordan Thompson (Raith Rovers).

Goal!

Goal! Falkirk 1, Raith Rovers 0. Lee Miller (Falkirk) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lewis Kidd.

Lewis Kidd (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ryan Hardie (Raith Rovers).

Myles Hippolyte (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kyle Benedictus (Raith Rovers).

Foul by Lee Miller (Falkirk).

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hibernian311612347212660
2Falkirk31149850341651
3Morton301310739291049
4Dundee Utd3013894236647
5Queen of Sth31109124144-339
6Dunfermline30812103839-136
7Dumbarton31810134149-834
8Raith Rovers3189142942-1333
9Ayr31710143153-2231
10St Mirren3079143748-1130
View full Scottish Championship table

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