Scottish Championship
FalkirkFalkirk1HeartsHeart of Midlothian2

Falkirk 1-2 Heart of Midlothian

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland

Scottish Championship leaders Hearts stretched their advantage over Rangers to six points with victory against Falkirk.

Kevin McHattie finished superbly for Hearts' opener after being found at the end of Billy King's skilful run.

Soufian El Hassnaoui converted Jamie Walker's low cross to double the visitors' lead.

Botti Bia Bi's turn and shot reduced the Bairns' deficit but Peter Houston's side could not find a leveller.

Hearts fans travelling to the Falkirk Stadium had been buoyed by the news that second-placed Rangers were held to a draw by Alloa Athletic earlier on Saturday.

El Hassnaoui and Prince Buaben had early shots for Hearts before King's driving run stretched the Bairns defence and McHattie turned well before lifting his shot into Jamie MacDonald's top-right hand corner.

Robbie Neilson's side were not content to sit on their lead and Walker's guile and vision led to El Hassnaoui sliding in to apply a simple finish.

David Smith and Will Vaulks shot wide as Falkirk rallied, while David McCracken headed straight at Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander after half-time.

The hosts' endeavours were rewarded when Peter Grant's replacement, Bia Bi, spun in the box to send a low shot across Alexander and into the net.

Falkirk almost found an equaliser in the final minute when Joe Shaughnessy fired over from close range following a free-kick.

Soufian El Hassnaoui scores for Hearts against Falkirk
El Hassnaoui finishes off good work by Walker to double Hearts' lead

Line-ups

Falkirk

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1MacDonald
  • 3ShaughnessyBooked at 66mins
  • 5McCracken
  • 14GrantSubstituted forBia Biat 50'minutes
  • 19LeahyBooked at 42mins
  • 6VaulksBooked at 78mins
  • 9SmithSubstituted forCooperat 49'minutes
  • 8AlstonBooked at 59mins
  • 7TaiwoSubstituted forShepherdat 84'minutes
  • 10Sibbald
  • 33Loy

Substitutes

  • 2Duffie
  • 12Bowman
  • 16Grant
  • 17Maybury
  • 20Cooper
  • 23Shepherd
  • 28Bia Bi

Hearts

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Alexander
  • 30McGhee
  • 22McKayBooked at 89mins
  • 5OzturkBooked at 42mins
  • 3McHattie
  • 12King
  • 17BuabenSubstituted forKeatingsat 68'minutes
  • 6GomisBooked at 62mins
  • 14Pallardo Gonzalez
  • 9El HassnaouiSubstituted forHoltat 76'minutes
  • 7Walker

Substitutes

  • 8Robinson
  • 10Holt
  • 11Nicholson
  • 13Hamilton
  • 19Keatings
  • 28Buchanan
  • 34McKirdy
Referee:
Calum Murray
Attendance:
7,003

Match Stats

Home TeamFalkirkAway TeamHearts
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home7
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home11
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Falkirk 1, Heart of Midlothian 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Falkirk 1, Heart of Midlothian 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Shaughnessy (Falkirk) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is too high following a set piece situation.

  4. Booking

    Brad McKay (Heart of Midlothian) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Post update

    Botti Bia Bi (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Brad McKay (Heart of Midlothian).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Will Vaulks (Falkirk).

  8. Post update

    Kevin McHattie (Heart of Midlothian) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Scott Shepherd replaces Tom Taiwo.

  10. Post update

    Botti Bia Bi (Falkirk) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Kevin McHattie (Heart of Midlothian).

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. James Keatings (Heart of Midlothian) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

  13. Booking

    Will Vaulks (Falkirk) is shown the yellow card.

  14. Post update

    Will Vaulks (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  15. Post update

    Foul by James Keatings (Heart of Midlothian).

  16. Post update

    Luke Leahy (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Walker (Heart of Midlothian).

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Heart of Midlothian. Jason Holt replaces Soufian El Hassnaoui.

  19. Post update

    Blair Alston (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Morgaro Gomis (Heart of Midlothian).