Darvel’s Scottish Cup dreams were ended by ruthless Falkirk as the Bairns ran out easy 5-1 winners at Recreation Park.
The non-league outfit from Ayrshire captured the imagination of the country with their 1-0 home win over cinch Premiership side Aberdeen in the fourth round.
The West of Scotland Premier Division champions had also earlier dismissed League One side Montrose but the Bairns
proved to have too much quality.
Two goals in two minutes midway through the first half through striker Gary Oliver and Callumn Morrison seemed to put the visitors well in control.
Darvel pulled a goal back thanks to a horrific mistake by Bairns goalkeeper PJ Morrison when he turned an Ian McShane cross into his own net.
Mick Kennedy’s side gave everything in order to level the tie but Craig McGowan was sent off by referee Willie Collum in the 77th minute for a second yellow card offence before Liam Henderson headed in a third and then further goals from Aidan Nesbitt and substitute Craig McGuffie set up a home quarter-final tie against Championship side Ayr United.
Around 900 Falkirk fans were in the crowd of just under 3,000 and they were hoping they would not be Darvel’s next victims.
On a pitch praised as one of the best in Scottish football at the moment, it was Falkirk who took early control and Darvel under pressure, with goalkeeper Chris Truesdale saving a Coll Donaldson shot from close range.
The home side responded positively and a pulsating cup tie ensued but it was the Bairns who stole into the lead in the 22nd minute, after Craig Truesdale went off injured to be replaced by Andy Stirling, when Nesbitt played in Oliver and he calmly ran through and slipped the ball past Truesdale.
The game had barely restarted when midfielder Henderson put the speedy Morrison through the middle and he slid the ball under the Darvel goalkeeper to stun the Ayrshire side who then faced a daunting task.
The home side battled hard to get a foothold in the game but in the 36th minute Morrison stung the hands of Truesdale with a powerful drive from just inside the box.
Just before the break Darvel came close to reducing the deficit but Falkirk goalkeeper Morrison tipped a header from McGowan over the bar and the Bairns survived the subsequent corner.
The interval gave Kennedy a chance to regroup but the visitors were firmly in the box seat.
Truesdale blocked a Kai Kennedy shot in the 58th minute as Falkirk retained control and continued to create chances but it was Darvel who got the goal they required when McShane crossed from the right after getting the ball back from the corner he had taken and Morrison put the ball into his own goal at the near post.
The complexion of the game changed completely.
Morrison saved a McShane corner with his foot as Darvel piled on the pressure and Falkirk wobbled.
However, McGowan, booked earlier, was sent packing for a needless tackle on Nesbitt and seconds later Henderson headed in a Morrison cross before setting up Nesbitt for the well-taken fourth and in the dying minutes McGuffie slotted in a fifth.