Bairns sparkle against Diamonds and earn fourth consecutive win

Jay Fulton nets against Airdire
Jay Fulton nets against Airdire
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Falkirk took the lead, lost it, and regained it for an important win in rain-lashed Airdrie.

The Bairns went into the break a goal up thanks to a bit of fleet-footed magic from Jay Fulton close in, and though they conceded to Ryan Donnelly, the Bairns did something they have failed to do so far this season by regaining the lead to win the match with Lyle Taylor’s hat-trick.

Airdrie put up a stern test for the Bairns though, as did the park and early on the visitors didn’t seem convinced by the run of the ball.

They were playing very high up the park though applying pressure to the Airdrie goal, and though Taylor had a shot charged down early on Airdrie could have picked them off for pace on the counter-attack.

That never came to fruition, but Stephen Kingsley had to be sharp twice to race back and stop Airdrie’s main dangerman Josh Watt on 13 minutes.

The knowledge and sense is developing between the Bairns with consistent selections and that was proven with a neat passing exchange on the half hour between Taylor, Jay Fulton and Thomas Grant. Fulton eventually played in Grant to scamper into the box but he took a tumble under a weak challenge from Marc Warren and the chance was gone.

They eventually converted just seconds before halftime when Duffie swung a cross in after good work on the right and Fulton danced the ball from under his feet in the six-yard area to poke poked it into the net from close range.

Craig Sibbald took a hefty knock on half-time from David Lilley’s tackle and Taylor slammed the free-kick under the wall but into the arms of Andrew Duncan.

His goals came later, but not until Airdrie had equalised.

The Diamonds applied the pressure early on, winning a series of corners after the break and Gregor Buchanan could have equalised after out-jumping Jonny Flynn.

But a looped free-kick after Stewart Murdoch had fouled Watt in the midfield was sliced across goal by Darren Dods and Ryan Donnelly rammed home at the post for a 56th minute equaliser.

On 67 minutes Taylor restored the advantage, sprinting forward onto a clever breakaway ball from Thomas Grant and though the first touch was over-hit he managed to catch it and slide the ball under Duncan in the goal.

That would’ve been enough to give the Bairns the win as Nathan Blockley was sent-off in the second half but a glancing header for the Englishman to nod in another set-up from Grant - this time a free-kick - and added gloss to the scoreline and he earned a claim to the matchball with a late strike to send the Bairns into the Boxing Day match on the back of four straight victories.