Manager Mark McGhee was looking for a reaction from his players after the midweek cup exit, but it never materialised as basement club Falkirk ran out easy winners. The Dons had made the perfect start when Charlie Mulgrew fired a 20 yard free kick beyond Olejnik in the fifth minute. Unfortunately they only held the lead for eight minutes as Moutinho levelled when he converted a cross from Showunmi. Aberdeen struggled after this as confidence drained and with three minutes of the half remaining Barr put the home side ahead as he out jumped McDonald to head home an Arfield free kick. The impressive Showunmi added a third with 20 minutes to go as dreams of Europe all but disappeared and even top six looks like a major challenge.
In the opening minute Twaddle and Mackie went in hard for a 50-50 ball and the Falkirk man came off worse. He was able to continue after some treatment then in the 4th minute Fyvie showed determination in getting forward, but appeared to be impeded. The assistant thought otherwise, but McDonald picked up and whipped the ball into the middle where Falkirks' McLean got the better of his Dons namesake and cleared. Aberdeen then went ahead in the 5th minute when Mulgrew converted a 20 yard free kick as Olejnik was beaten all ends up. This was the Dons first goal against the Bairns this season.
Two minutes later Falkirk won their own free kick 30 yards out, but O'Brien wasted the opportunity. However Falkirk levelled in the 13th minute with their first attack when Showunmi beat Mulgrew far too easily on the left and fired the ball across where Moutinho steered it past the helpless Nelson. Aberdeen tried to hit back immediately, but Mackie fired over. At the other end Falkirk won the first corner of the match then Lima forced Nelson into his first save. The home side had taken confidence from the goal and were now enjoying more of the possession.
Showunmi was causing the Dons defence all sorts of problems and he was unlucky in the 23rd minute when a through ball from Moutinho found him narrowly offside. A minute later Diamond blocked a Flynn effort then Paterson picked up a nasty knock on the ankle. Paterson was unable to continue and was replaced by Grassi in the 26th minute. Gaps were appearing in the Aberdeen defence and Arfield raced forward in the 29th minute, but then chose the wrong option. A minute later MacLean attempted to feed Mackie, but the striker had strayed offside.
Moutinho was given too much space again and fired inches wide of the target in the 32nd minute. Falkirk then won another corner, but it came to nothing. Seconds later an obvious handball from Showunmi was missed by the officials and when the ball was fed to Moutinho he fortunately fired high. Scobbie had to concede the Dons first corner in the 38th minute as he beat MacLean to a Mackie cross. A second corner quickly followed, but it was cleared by Showunmi.
Mackie and Foster combined well in 41 minutes, but Olejnik gathered then seconds later Foster was cautioned for a professional foul to halt Showunmi. Falkirk took the lead from the subsequent free kick as Arfield swung the ball into the back post where Barr out jumped McDonald to head past Nelson. The Dons keeper made a fine save from Showunmi in injury time to prevent further damage. After the perfect start for the Dons the game has slipped away from them as they fell out of the game following the equaliser.
Aberdeen tried to move forward from the restart, but the Falkirk defence comfortably held firm. A Flynn effort went well over in the 49th minute as the Aberdeen play was still riddled with errors. A bizarre free kick against Mackie was followed by an equally bizarre yellow card for Fyvie as Aberdeen struggled to get back into the match. Showunmi should have set Flynn up for number three in the 55th minute, but went for goal himself. A minute later Aluko replaced Paton and the Dons would be hoping for some of his magic to turn this game.
Kerr and Diamond had to combine to concede a corner in the 59th minute as the home side looked to finish Aberdeen off. Fortunately the corner failed to threaten, but a minute later Arfield went close as Nelson failed to hold his shot and Diamond had to complete the clearance. Marshall replaced McDonald in the 63rd minute as the Dons made their final substitution. Aberdeen then enjoyed some pressure but the final cross from Grassi was too close to the keeper. The Dons won their first corner of the second half in the 69th minute as a decent Foster cross was turned out.
Unfortunately the threat came to nothing and Falkirk extended their lead in the 70th minute when the ball was crossed by Flynn and Showunmi had acres of space to fire a bicycle kick beyond Nelson. Another Aberdeen corner failed to produce a chance and Falkirk were now in total control and won their own corner in the 75th minute. The Dons failed to clear and Aluko was penalised for a foul on Flynn. Arfield swung the free kick in and the unchallenged Barr had a free header that was held at the second attempt by Nelson.
Fyvie and MacLean combined well in the 83rd minute and the striker forced a save from the keeper and won a corner. A second quickly followed as the Dons finally started to exert some pressure. The second corner was easily defended as was a long throw from Grassi. The Italian then picked up a caution for a poor challenge in the 86th minute. In the final minute a Paul Marshall shot was well saved by Olejnik as Falkirk ran out comfortable winners.