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after extra time, Falkirk win 4-3 on penalties

JAMIE MacDONALD was the hero as he made three saves in a nerve-shredding penalty shoot-out to send Falkirk into the third round of the League Cup.

The two teams fought out a 2-2 draw on the opening day of the league season and again could not be separated in 120 minutes of a stalemate.

Home youngster Liam Rowan passed up the chance to seal victory with the last of his side's spot kicks but, when MacDonald made it a hat trick of saves, this time from Craig Johnston in the first of sudden death, Craig Sibbald calmly rolled in the decisive kick.

The energy-sapping outing was not what the hosts needed ahead of a second trip to the capital in a week, this time to face Hearts after their weekend win over Hibernian. And there was no place in the squad for Conor McGrandles, amid rumours linking the highly-rated 18-year-old with a big-money move to Norwich City, where former manager Gary Holt is back as assistant to Neil Adams.

Cowdenbeath handed a debut to on-loan Dundee United winger Kudus Oyenuga but it was team-mate Sean Higgins who came closest for the visitors with a sizzling 30-yard drive that crashed down off the underside of the bar.

On the stroke of half-time in the extra half an hour Falkirk were handed a gilt-edged opportunity to seal the tie when they were awarded a penalty as Nat Wedderburn was adjudged to have brought down substitute Rory Loy.

The match-winner against Hibs at the weekend, though, shanked his spot kick high and wide.