Scottish Challenge Cup - Quarter-Final
Inverness CT1Falkirk0

Inverness CT 1-0 Falkirk

Connor Bell scores
Connor Bell's fifth goal of the season secured victory for Inverness

Inverness Caledonian Thistle narrowly beat Championship rivals Falkirk to reach the Scottish Challenge Cup semi-finals.

In a quiet first half, Falkirk keeper Robbie Thomson denied John Baird and, at the other end, Myles Hippolyte had an effort cleared off the line.

Connor Bell struck a deserved opener for the hosts in the second half.

Bell had a further effort saved by Thomson as the Bairns went a fifth game without victory.

Falkirk, who were playing their first match since forward Kevin O'Hara was banned for eight games by the Scottish FA, are still waiting for their first win since manager Paul Hartley took charge last month.

John Robertson's side, meanwhile, join Crusaders and Dumbarton in the last four, with The New Saints hosting Queen of the South in Sunday's quarter-final.

Long-range efforts off target peppered the opening period before both sides began to gain territory.

First, Alex Cooper stretched the Bairns on their left and squared for former Falkirk striker Baird, whose low shot was blocked by the outstretched foot of Thomson.

The visitors responded with Hippolyte attempting to force the ball home from close range only for Coll Donaldson to hack it clear.

Thomson was tested by Iain Vigurs' fierce effort before the break and Cooper's looping header shortly after it.

Caley Thistle's threat was growing and it eventually told when David Raven's cross towards Baird was not sufficiently cleared and fell perfectly for Bell to lash home.

Hartley's team struggled to create openings in the final half-hour and Bell's shot was held by Thomson as the Highlanders saw out their win.

Post-match reaction

Inverness striker Connor Bell: "We're disappointed with our first-half performance, but it's a cup game not a league game so all that matters is that we got through to the semi-final.

"We got quite a few new players in the summer, so it was just finding out how each other play. Now we're starting to come together as a team.

"I've just come to score goals and play as many matches as possible. I've had injury problems in that past, but that's behind me now."

Line-ups

Inverness CT

  • 28Ridgers
  • 2Raven
  • 22McKay
  • 23Donaldson
  • 3TremarcoBooked at 90mins
  • 21CooperSubstituted forDoran Coganat 72'minutes
  • 7Polworth
  • 11Vigurs
  • 4Chalmers
  • 9BairdSubstituted forOakleyat 79'minutes
  • 20BellBooked at 70minsSubstituted forCalderat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Warren
  • 10Doran Cogan
  • 14Oakley
  • 16Calder
  • 24Trafford
  • 27Mackay
  • 31Mackay

Falkirk

  • 1Thomson
  • 4Muirhead
  • 44Watson
  • 21Balatoni
  • 3McGhee
  • 17Harris
  • 14Longridge
  • 6McKeeSubstituted forLoyat 63'minutes
  • 11Hippolyte
  • 28CraigenBooked at 31minsSubstituted forBluesat 85'minutes
  • 9AustinSubstituted forDunneat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Grant
  • 15Gasparotto
  • 23Gallacher
  • 24Blues
  • 31Mutch
  • 33Loy
  • 35Dunne
Referee:
Euan Anderson
Attendance:
1,078

Match Stats

Home TeamInverness CTAway TeamFalkirk
Possession
Home51%
Away49%
Shots
Home9
Away10
Shots on Target
Home5
Away2
Corners
Home8
Away2
Fouls
Home10
Away7