Dundee United made it three wins in a row in the Championship with an easy win over relegation-threatened Falkirk.
The Tangerines went into the game knowing Ross County’s title-winning victory over Queen of the South last night meant whatever the results of their final two games they would be finishing second.
But thanks to an impressive display they maintained recent momentum as they look towards next month’s promotion play-offs.
And goals from Rachid Bouhenna and Paul McMullan in the first half were enough to secure three points.
They almost took the lead as early as the sixth minute when Pavol Safranko set up Osman Sow just inside the box and the Swede saw his curling shot brilliantly touched away by Harry Burgoyne in the Bairns’ goal.
The home team continued to press with Sow again seeing a shot saved and Ian Harkes doing likewise with an effort from distance.
And it was no surprise when they took the lead in the 15th minute. Burgoyne had just pulled off a miraculous save to tip a Mark Reynolds header over his bar, but could do nothing when Paul McMullan sent the resulting corner over from the right and Bouhenna netted with a header from six yards.
It was exactly the start the visitors, rooted to the foot of the Championship with just two games left, did not want.
They were almost level when Davis Keillor-Dunn missed a sitter from close range after a Jordan McGhee cross.
There was then a huge let off for the visitors as a goalmouth scramble saw Burgoyne save from Bouhenna before Reynolds and Safranko saw shots blocked.
On 25 minutes, though, it was two for United as Safranko picked out McMullan with a low pass and the wee attacker picked his spot with a shot from 12 yards.
It was all one-way traffic and when Burgoyne couldn’t hold a Calum Butcher 30 yarder, McMullan squandered a great chance for number three by heading over from the six yard line.
Near the break there was a scare for United when a rare Falkirk attack led to a corner from which McGhee hit the post with a header.
Early in the second period Falkirk almost pulled one back as Keillor-Dunn set off on a jinking run that ended with his shot being touched away by Benjamin Siegrist in the home goal.
A sign United’s thoughts are now focused on those play-offs came just after the hour mark when they made a triple substitution.
Nicky Clark, Sam Stanton and Logan Chalmers were sent on to give Sow, McMullan and Harkes a deserved breather.
Just after coming on, Clark hit the side netting with an angled drive from a Chalmers knock down.
The changes seemed to take the flow out of United’s play and they looked content just to see out time in the final 20 minutes or so.
Paul Watson did come close to grabbing a goal against his old team when he volleyed a foot wide from a Chalmers corner.
Then Clark saw a shot blocked when he might have played Chalmers in, but in the end it did not matter at it was a comfortable three points for the home side.
Utd: Siegrist, Booth, McMullan, Sow, Safranko, Robson, Butcher, Bouhenna, Reynolds, Watson, Harkes.
Falkirk: Burgoyne, McGhee, Waddington, Keillor-Dunn, McLean, Robson, McShane, Rudden, Osman, Dixon, McKenna.
Referee: Steven Kirkland.