His team down to ten men, James Vincent scored the decisive goal late on as Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC held off Falkirk FC to win the Scottish Cup for the first time.
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Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC lifted the Scottish Cup for the first time after defeating second-tier Falkirk FC 2-1 at Hampden Park.
Marley Watkins gave the Highlanders a 38th-minute lead, rounding goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald and slotting in from close range, but with a quarter of an hour remaining Inverness defender Carl Tremarco was dismissed for bringing down Blair Alston when the last man.
Peter Grant headed the equaliser for Falkirk, rising at the far post to power in Alston's free-kick, only for substitute James Vincent to decisively restore the Scottish Premiership side's advantage four minutes from time. Watkins broke from deep and when MacDonald could only parry his shot, Vincent was on hand to slot in the loose ball.
"It's a dream come true," said Watkins. "When we went down to ten men I thought, 'Oh My God', but we never do it the easy way. I probably should have passed to Vinnie for the second goal, but when it went in I was over the moon."
Inverness – runners-up in the 2014 Scottish League Cup final – can now look forward to their first continental campaign having qualified for the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League. "We have made history," added manager John Hughes. "Twenty-one years after the club was formed this is a fantastic achievement.
"Respect to Falkirk. They were the better team in the second half and somehow down to ten men we pulled it out of the fire not for the first time this season. Once again James Vincent has come up trumps. Emotionally, I am completely overwhelmed."