CHRIS ERSKINE fired Partick Thistle through to a last 16 meeting with SPL St Johnstone - and ensured the Jags gained sweet cup revenge on Falkirk.
The Bairns had dumped Ian McCall's men out of the Co-operative Insurance Cup back in August as Thistle's season got off to a less than convincing start.
But a recent revival which has seen the Jags shoot into the top half of the table continued with last night's well-earned victory in front of over 2000 fans at Firhill.
Boss Ian McCall was understandably delighted with his troops and claimed the feelgood factor had well and truly returned to Firhill.
He said: "The fans have certainly been responding to what they are seeing out on the pitch at the moment and they were fantastic again tonight.
"We're enjoying the good run that we are on at the moment and the fans are clearly enjoying that run and you can feel everyone feeding off each other right now.
"You've got to enjoy the good moments in football and long may they continue."
McCall singled matchwinner Erskine out for special praise, describing his performance as "mesmerising". And the former Kilbirnie Ladeside star certainly showed great composure to give his side a sixth-minute lead.
Fellow former junior star Kris Doolan was the architect as he played an inch-perfect ball through the Bairns rearguard for Erskine who raced clear and slid a left-foot shot past Robert Olejnik.
It was just the start the home support had been seeking and, after Saturday's 6-1 mauling of Stirling Albion, confidence pulsed through the yellow and red jerseys.
Doolan, looking for his third goal in as many games, tried his luck from range but Olejnik smothered easily.
Paul Cairney was next to threaten when he raced onto a Liam Buchanan pass but he was foiled by a last-ditch challenge.
The Bairns are no pushovers though and, on 23 minutes, they reminded the crowd of 2024 that there were two teams vying for the right to face St Johnstone in the next round.
Stewart Murdoch got on the end of a Ryan Flynn cross and forced a terrific save from Scott Fox with a well-executed volley.
Steven Pressley's side came close again on 33 minutes when Carl Finnigan's header shaved the post with Fox beaten.
However it was Thistle who almost doubled their lead just five minutes before the break when Paul Cairney - restored to the side in place of Iain Flannigan - smashed a 25-yard free kick just wide of Olejnik's right hand post.
McCall must have been happy with his side's first half display and, with their exemplary defensive form at home, the Jags always looked a good bet to hold out.
The opening period of the second half began to get tetchy with a flurry of bookings - McLean and Twaddle for Falkirk and Archibald for Thistle.
The stoppages were probably to Thistle's liking with Falkirk struggling to build any serious pressure on the home goal.
Chris Mitchell blasted a 20-yard free kick off the wall on 61 minutes but it wasn't until the 83rd minute that Pressley's men carved open a real opportunity.
Finnigan made space for himself inside the box but wasted his good work by shooting wide.
That let-off booted Thistle back to life and Erskine could have made the result safe when he raced clear with Buchanan but the latter's cut-back fell behind the goalscorer and the chance was wasted.
As nervy as the final five minutes were, Falkirk failed to create any more opportunities and Thistle held out for a deserved and welcome victory which books their trip to McDiarmid Park on February 5.