Cove Rangers’ hopes of ending Falkirk’s remarkable unbeaten run were blown apart as the League One leaders ran out 4-0 winners in a one-sided encounter.
Paul Hartley, the Cove boss, accepted his side were second best against the Bairns, who are now unbeaten in 25 matches in all competitions.
He said: “We were really poor tonight, especially during the second half.
“The goals we lost we lost weren’t ideal, especially when we conceded one two minutes before half time.
“I thought we had contained them OK up until then.
“We had a couple of flurries on the breakaway but they hadn’t caused us too many problems in the first half then we lost a goal just before the break then and another soon after the restart.
“After that it was just a case of trying to keep the score down.
“To be fair they were better than us. They have good players and they’re top of the league for a reason.”
It was Cove who created the first chance of the evening when, with only five minutes on the clock, Rumarn Burrell broke through the home defence before setting up Connor Scully who shot narrowly wide from the edge of the penalty area.
For the remainder of the first half it was Falkirk who dominated play and the visitors had goalkeeper Nicholas Suman to thank for keeping the game competitive at the interval.
The Cove keeper made a succession of excellent saves as the rampant Bairns laid siege to his goal, blocking efforts from Coll Donaldson, Calumn Morrison, Tom Lang and Leon McCann before finally being beaten just three minutes from the break when McCann released Morrison who made space for himself in the box before firing home the opening goal.
Suman had undoubtedly been the outstanding Cove player throughout what had been a difficult first 45 minutes for Paul Hartley’s men but the big Australian keeper went from hero to villain less than a minute after the restart, spilling a corner from Brad Spencer which fell to Liam Henderson who slammed home goal number two from close range.
The unfortunate Suman redeemed himself to some extent with a fine save from Adam Nesbitt shortly afterwards but he was beaten for a third time midway through the second half following a superb individual effort from the impressive Morrison.
— Cove Rangers FC (@CoveRangersFC) January 9, 2024
Substitute Gary Oilver completed the scoring five minutes from time with a well struck low shot to make it 4-0.