Ross County 0 Falkirk 1
The Bairns attacked the County goal from the off and Pedro Moutinho put a dangerous ball across the face of the goal but Darryl Duffy failed to make contact.
County lost possession 30 yards out and the Bairns won the first corner of the game and Craig McPherson's flag kick was headed narrowly over the crossbar by Kevin James.
The visitors were on top, but a flash of inspiration from David Winters in the 10th minute resulted in a fierce low drive that Darren Hill managed to grab at the second attempt.
Falkirk were enjoying the bulk of the play and a high ball into the area from James was only partially blocked and Russell Latapy's attempted lob just cleared the crossbar.
County were denied a penalty claim when a Winters cross appeared to by handled by James, but referee Rowbotham waved play on.
But most of the action was at the other end and County keeper Colin Stewart was forced to charge down a drive from Moutinho in the 22nd minute after Duffy set him up.
Duffy was causing the County defence all sorts of problems and his cut back into the box in the 37th minute was scrambled away.
The Falkirk goal had a let-off a couple of minutes later when John Rankin had the ball in the net but the goal was ruled off for offside.
But the goal came at the other end on the stroke of half-time when Duffy was taken down inside the box by Fergus Tiernan. Duffy took the kick himself to send Stewart the wrong way from the spot.
Falkirk made an impressive start to the second half and Danny McBreen was right through on goal in the first minute but his shot rebounded off the inside of Stewart's left-hand post.
In the Bairns next attack Stewart did well to parry attempts from Latapy and McBreen in quick succession.
Then Duffy burst into the box, but Jim Lauchlan did enough to put him off and the striker's drive went wide of target.
County were being restricted to long range efforts and Robertson's 20-yarder was easily held by Hill.
John Hughes became the first name in referee Rowbotham's book when he took Rankin out of the play on the half way line, then Neil Scally joined him for a rash tackle.
Sean Kilgannon replaced Rankin as the home side looked for a lift.
And in a rare County attack in the 75th minute Jamie McCunnie was not that far away with a delicate chip that ended up on the top of the net.
McCunnie then made way for Sean Higgins as County pushed more players forward.
County's last chance of an equaliser fell to Don Cowie, who blasted the ball over the bar from well outside the box.