Cowdenbeath exited the Scottish Cup after a narrow defeat in a frustrating afternoon at the Falkirk Stadium.
The only goal came 17 minutes from time when Craig Sibbald drilled the ball home. Sean Higgins came within an inch of a late equaliser.
Whether they would have merited a second chance is a moot point, as Central Park manager Jimmy Nicholl expressed disappointment that his men did not make more of a fight of things.
The Fifers, still wounded by their 6-0 reverse to the Bairns in October, set up with a game plan designed to soak up pressure and hit Falkirk on the break.
That approach almost worked with a lightning raid on nine minutes, when Kyle Miller’s drive was parried into the path of Marcus Fraser and the on-loan Celtic youngster thought he had scored until Will Vaulks popped up on the line to clear.
Falkirk were on top after this scare and, before the break, Robbie Thomson was forced into a fine save after a turn and shot from Rory Loy.
The second half followed a similar pattern, with the hosts attacking and the Cowdenbeath defence plugging any gaps.
The breakthrough came 17 minutes from time, Sibbald slotting home from a tight angle after a Loy shot had deflected into his path off Nat Wedderburn.
Higgins got a glimpse of goal in the final couple of minutes when Bairns keeper Jamie MacDonald and defender Peter Grant collided.
However, his shot slipped wide from a tight angle. The hosts then carved out a great chance to seal things when David Smith, with an open goal, somehow blazed high over.
Higgins said: “The performance was better but it does not really matter as it is the cup and we are out. I had a chance but I had very little time and I was almost on the byline.”
Boss Nicholl had few complaints about the outcome only his side’s performance. He said: “If you are going to lose a cup tie you should go down with a fight. The first half was a decent display, but the start to the second half was poor from us.
“We never tackled and that gave Falkirk the initiative.”
Falkirk manager Peter Houston said: “We had lots of possession and plenty of chances, but credit to the players for lifting themselves in a game with little atmosphere. We were on a hiding to nothing but the players worked their socks off.
“They dropped back to their 18-yard line when we had the ball, so patience was the key to winning.”