Chris McGowan believes his pivotal red card in Darvel’s Scottish Cup exit to Falkirk was ‘harsh’.

With the last 16 tie in the balance at 2-1, the left-back was dismissed by referee Willie Collum for a second bookable offence – paving the way for the Bairns to smash three more past the tiring underdogs.

The result brought to an end the West of Scotland League Premier Division champions’ remarkable run with a sense of what could have been. But McGowan maintains the Ayrshire side will quickly shrug off their disappointment as their bid to reach the Lowland League continues apace.

Darvel manager admitted after full-time he thought the decision was fair. McGowan, however, disagreed.

“I like to play on the edge and I can be aggressive,” he said. “I’m not blessed with height and I thought it was a bit harsh.

“It was maybe because after my booking I have had a few fouls but there wasn’t much in the red. I like to play that way and I knew I had a few fouls but the ref has obviously thought it was my last one.

“I didn’t even think it was a foul, I blocked him but we sort of ran into each other. The referee took his time and he was obviously speaking to someone, but I can’t really complain.

“At 2-1 we were still in it and after we got the goal back it was a bit more open. As soon as I got into the dressing room I heard Falkirk scoring again to make it 3-1 and I knew that was it.

READ MORE: Darvel 1 Falkirk 5 - 3 talking points as Bairns wreck underdogs' Scottish Cup dream

“It ended up being 5-1 but that flattered them I think. I apologised to the boys at the end and told them I had let them down.

“These things happen, it feels rubbish right now but I am sure in a few days I can look back on the run with pride. I will remember it forever and hopefully we can do the same next year and go on a run

“The last few weeks have been amazing but now it is back to reality and try to win the league. We have three games in a week so we don’t have time to dwell on things.”