Raith Rovers 0 Falkirk 2 : Bairns are moving on up

Tom Taiwo celebrates his goal in front of the Bairns fans. Pic by Michael Gillen.
Tom Taiwo celebrates his goal in front of the Bairns fans. Pic by Michael Gillen.

John Baird and Tom Taiwo gave Falkirk their first away win since March and inflicted a second straight defeat for the Rovers.

The SPFL Championship looks a lot more heartening for Falkirk fans now after an excellent display in Kirkcaldy gave them a third win in a row in front of 572 away fans.

John Baird celebrates in front of his former fans after putting the Bairns ahead in the first half

John Baird celebrates in front of his former fans after putting the Bairns ahead in the first half

It was fraught at times and Rovers could have been ahead after making the better start to the game, but it was worth it with an excellent return from Fife the third away win of 2016.

It was rarely in doubt after Baird gave the visitors the lead at his former home and then Taiwo confirmed it when he slammed in a second on 72 minutes.

The Bairns drafted Lewis Kidd in to replace Aaron Muirhead who had a scan on a minor knee cartilage problem this week. Luca Gasparotto was also preferred to Paul Watson to partner David McCracken at the heart of the defence, with Bob McHugh and John Baird - both of whom found the net twice last week - in attack.

The duo were given little chance by the burly Raith backline for the first 25 minutes and high balls were easily dealt with by the home side..

Tom Taiwo celebrates his goal in front of the Bairns fans. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Tom Taiwo celebrates his goal in front of the Bairns fans. Pic by Michael Gillen.

Connor Brennan in the Rovers' net had little to do with the Bairns held up at the edge of his box and unable to trouble the ex-Killie man. His opposite number Danny Rogers - back in goal after international duty - had to keep out a Ross Callachan half-volley and watch Iain Davidson go inches from opening the scoring with a header to Lewis Vaughan's free-kick.

Rovers seemed keen to hit Falkirk on the break and though it looked capable, the tactic didn't bring any great danger to the visitors' goal but neither had the Bairns' attack and a midfield tussle dominated the opening half-hour.

However that changed on the stroke of the 30th minute when Mark Kerr threaded a pass through to John Baird. The little striker had gone 155 days without scoring prior to last week's double, and it took him just seven to add another to his tally as he side-footed past Brennan from 14 yards.

Perhaps it was against the run of play, but it only took one chance for the Bairns and Baird took it.

They could have had another quickly afterwards but the ball was tangled under the striker's feet and scrambled clear only to be returned by Lewis Kidd. The right-back's drive struck Baird on it's way to goal and spun out for a goal-kick.

Rovers went close to an equaliser on the hour when a lung-bursting sprint from Bobby Barr caused panic at the back for the Bairns and his low cut-back was palmed out by Danny Rogers to Lewis Vaughan. The striker couldn't dig a shot out of his feet and Rogers and Tom Taiwo scrambled the ball out.

Declan McManus then thumped a shot at Rogers that stung the keeper's palms but the Bairns went up the field and took the sting out of the game.

After Lee Miller replaced Baird, and John Rankin Hippolyte the visitors went 2-0 up through Tom Taiwo's powerful strike after Rankin had been allowed to advance from the midfield to cut-back to his midfield partner. The Englishman missed a large part of last season through injury but has cemented a place in Peter Houston's plans this term with a series of excellent displays.

Miller had the home support crying for a penalty four minutes from time as he rose above - and decked - McManus in the box but no penalty was given by ref Anderson and the Bairns saw out an excellent victory.