Bairns collapse after Taylor gives them perfect start

Lyle Taylor opened the scoring for Falkirk
Lyle Taylor opened the scoring for Falkirk

Falkirk’s fading hopes of mounting a late challenge for the First Division title were all but extinguished this afternoon by a demoralising 4-1 defeat at Cowdenbeath.

The result leaves the Bairns trailing table-topping Morton by 21 points.

They had travelled across the Forth to Fife in confident mood following last Saturday’s progress in the Scottish Cup when they swept aside Forfar Athletic.

And Steven Pressley’s side made a dream start to the game when Lyle Taylor scored a fine individual goal after just two minutes.

The striker picked up the ball wide on the left, and breezed past two Cowdenbeath defenders in the box before coolly dispatching the ball past Thomas Flynn.

The home side had caused Falkirk few problems in the first-half, but Colin Cameron’s men snatched the lead in a dramatic two minute period shortly after the half-hour mark.

John Armstrong took advantage of some slack defending to prod the ball home from six yards, and then two minutes later Kane Hemmings was allowed too much time and space in the penalty box, allowing him to rifle a superb half-volley into the bottom right corner of Michael

McGovern’s net.

That goal had a clearly demoralising impact on the Falkirk team and they looked shaken as the second half got under way.

Jay Fulton and David Weatherston both had good chances to find an equaliser but a combination of dogged defending and a poor break of the ball kept the home side in front.

Disaster struck with 73 minutes gone when Falkirk failed to defend a routine corner and John Armstrong was left to head home at the back post for his second goal of the game.

And a miserable day for the Bairns was completed when Jamie Stevenson struck a firm, low free-kick on the 90-minute mark which took a deflection past McGovern.