Scottish League Cup - Third Round
Ross CountyRoss County7FalkirkFalkirk0

Ross County 7-0 Falkirk

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Victoria Park
Ross County forward Liam Boyce
Liam Boyce scored three goals in a one-sided cup tie

Liam Boyce scored a first-half hat-trick as Ross County demolished Falkirk to reach the League Cup quarter-finals.

The in-form Northern Irishman knocked in two headers either side of a cute, close-range back-heel.

Rafa De Vita powered in an angled shot after the interval and then set up Jonathan Franks for a side-foot finish.

Brian Graham nodded in his first goal for the Staggies and Darren Holden completed the rout with shot from Stewart Murdoch's delivery.

It was a night to forget for Peter Houston's side who have impressed in the Championship this season but will do well to bounce back from a woeful display.

This looked like a potentially tricky tie for County but the hosts signalled yet again that they are a vastly improved outfit this term.

Initially, Falkirk caused a few problems but Boyce simply blew the visitors away.

His first goal came from Richard Foster's curling cross, with the striker muscling his way to the ball to direct a powerful header back across keeper Danny Rogers.

Liam Boyce is now on nine goals for the season
Boyce (centre) is now on nine goals for the season

The second arrived when Falkirk failed to clear a corner. Boyce reacted to swiftly back-heel the ball in from five yards.

His hat-trick was complete when he got on the end of another cross to the back post to nod accurately into the corner.

Any suggestion that County would ease off was immediately dispelled early in the second half.

De Vita was released down the left and took advantage of the space to drill the ball firmly into the far corner.

The home side maintained their intensity to continue their domination and a fifth goal arrived when some wonderful football allowed De Vita to pick out Franks, who powerfully volleyed home.

Graham, who had a strong, early penalty claim turned down, headed in his first for the club when, left all alone in the box, he rose to meet Murdoch's accurate cross.

And Murdoch produced another smart assist for substitute Holden and the defender's volley was perfectly placed straight in the corner.

It was a magnificent, clinical display from the Staggies, with Falkirk found badly wanting.

What the managers said

Ross County's Jim McIntyre: "We were right at it from the first whistle and we knew we need to be because Falkirk have got good players and have started the season really well

"It was about us tonight. The way we went about it, we didn't give them a minute. We were in their faces and got the goals at good times.

"We spoke before the game and said that there will be a shock somewhere and let's make sure it's not us and make sure we play with that intensity.

"We took control of the game and played with a real confidence.

Falkirk's Peter Houston: "It was an embarrassing night. We let a lot of Falkirk supporters down. I've never seen the team so less committed to try and win football match.

"I don't think we had any players, not one player, who got anywhere near the required level of commitment and desire.

"You've got to show hunger, fight, desire. I don't want to take anything away from Ross County who are a good side but they shouldn't be seven goals better than Falkirk but we've nobody to blame but ourselves."

Line-ups

Ross County

  • 1Fox
  • 12Foster
  • 6Robertson
  • 5Boyd
  • 3Reckord
  • 17FranksSubstituted forHoldenat 58'minutes
  • 36IrvineSubstituted forDingwallat 72'minutes
  • 18Murdoch
  • 24De Vita
  • 10BoyceSubstituted forMcShaneat 63'minutes
  • 9Graham

Substitutes

  • 2Fraser
  • 7Gardyne
  • 8McShane
  • 14Holden
  • 19Dingwall
  • 21Woods

Falkirk

  • 1Rogers
  • 6Vaulks
  • 44Watson
  • 14Grant
  • 3Leahy
  • 8Alston
  • 7Taiwo
  • 11KerrBooked at 63minsSubstituted forMuirheadat 67'minutes
  • 10Sibbald
  • 22BlairSubstituted forMcHughat 45'minutes
  • 9BairdSubstituted forMillerat 45'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Muirhead
  • 5McCracken
  • 12Bowman
  • 17Smith
  • 18Miller
  • 19McHugh
  • 20Cooper
Referee:
Stephen Finnie
Attendance:
1,341

Match Stats

Home TeamRoss CountyAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home14
Away6
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away8

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Ross County 7, Falkirk 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Ross County 7, Falkirk 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Falkirk. Conceded by Scott Fox.

  4. Post update

    Attempt saved. Aaron Muirhead (Falkirk) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  5. Goal!

    Goal! Ross County 7, Falkirk 0. Darren Holden (Ross County) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Stewart Murdoch.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Chris Robertson (Ross County).

  7. Post update

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

  8. Post update

    Foul by Scott Boyd (Ross County).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Foul by Darren Holden (Ross County).

  11. Post update

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

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Ross County. Tony Dingwall replaces Jackson Irvine.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Chris Robertson (Ross County).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Foul by Jamie Reckord (Ross County).

  16. Post update

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

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Falkirk. Aaron Muirhead replaces Mark Kerr.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Darren Holden (Ross County).

  19. Post update

    Aaron Muirhead (Falkirk) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  20. Post update

    Attempt saved. Craig Sibbald (Falkirk) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.