Falkirk stunned Dundee United as they took the scalp of Jim Goodwin’s Championship league leaders with a thrilling fightback in the SPFL Trust Trophy.
Three goals in six crazy second-half minutes turned this game entirely on its head as the League One side came from behind to take firm control of the tie and ease into the semi-finals on the back of a 4-2 win.
United had seemed to have weathered the storm as they recovered from a whirlwind opening to take a 2-1 lead into the break after goals from Mathew Anim Cudjoe and Tony Watt had cancelled out Callumn Morrison’s opener.
However, John McGlynn’s side went for the jugular after the break with United’s frail backline culpable as Falkirk dumped them out of the competition.
Tom Lang restored parity before Finn Yeats netted to put the hosts out in front with Morrison adding his second and Falkirk’s fourth as United were still trying to catch their breath.
It is the first defeat for the Tannadice side since their opening League Cup losses at the start of season back in July.
The opening frantic spells of this game were a portent of what was to come.
Goodwin’s side had been forced to chase the game after Morrison had netted a quickfire opener after just four minutes following an inviting deep cross to the back post from Leon McCann.
Falkirk’s mistake lay in not being able to turn the screw when they were on top; Liam Henderson had an effort go over the bar from close range while Ross MacIvor slashed at a volley after United keeper Jack Walton had bolted off his line to attempt a headed clearance.
Parity, though, came via a toe-curling moment for Falkirk stopper Sam Long. Watt had spun beautifully just beyond the halfway line before slipping the ball wide to Cudjoe. He nipped inside but his effort looked to be heading straight towards Long only for the keeper to fumble the ball and effectively palm it behin him into his own net.
Undeterred, Falkirk tried to reassert themselves in the game as they forced a series of corner with Declan Glass forced to head off the line from one of them.
It was United, though, who took control of the tie with Watt collecting from Scott McMann before lifting his effort high into the net with Long unable to keep it out.
Still, Falkirk kept at it. Calvin Miller swung in a cross that MacIvor headed narrowly over from.
Their pressure bore fruit in the second period. Morrison’s free-kick beat Walton and came down off the underside of the crossbar with Lang in the right place to force the ball over the line for the leveller.
It was the catalyst for a mental six minute spell as Falkirk kept their foot to the floor.
Yeats put them back in front after United had been caught napping with Miller getting in behind after a long throw-in.
His effort was saved by fell tstraight to the feet ofYeats who netted his first goal for the club.
It got better again for Falkirk. A woefully slack pass from Kevin Holt sent Morrison through on goal as he rounded Walton before calmly dispatching the hosts’ fourth.