Falkirk lost a 93rd minute goal to be held by the ten men of Dumbarton.
The game hinged on two penalty calls from referee Andrew Dallas. The whistler also dished out a controversial red card for Mark Docherty shortly after the hour mark when the Bairns were handed their spot-kick.
The defender had deflected a Blair Alston volley for a corner but the resultant set piece caused problems for the Sons and Docherty blocked a hooked shot by Baird on the line.
The striker slammed home the penalty and the defender walked for the incident which lloked to have helped the Bairns extend their lead over third placed Hibs to five points. Instead, the gap is three after Gary Fleming’s late, late leveller.
The Sons were given their spot kick in the 92nd minute for a foul by keeper Danny Rogers leaping on Christian Nade to punch the ball clear. Nade’s strike-partner forced the ball beyond Danny Rogers despite the Bairns’ keeper diving the right way.
The first half was controlled by Falkirk with fleeting chances for Dumbarton whose strong strike force of Christian Nade and Gary Fleming gave the Bairns back line trouble at times.
However the Bairns should have been well ahead at the break, rather than drawing 0-0.
Blair Alston smashed a Baird pass into the side netting and really should have done better early on.
Kevin McCann’s deliveries, on his full Falkirk debut, were excellent throughout but none were taken by Baird nor Lee Miller. The striker did however trouble Jamie Ewings with a good header which the keeper parried well low at his right-hand post.
Captain David McCracken also went close for the Bairns with a header that grazed the crossbar.
The Sons had the ball in the net though when Nade tapped in a rebound when Fleming’s shot was saved by ex-Dumbarton keeper Danny Rogers, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
The second half was much like the first, all Falkirk with chances for the home side. Defiant defending by Danny Rogers and his defence kept out a Gregor Buchanan header on the line, and the keeper did well to block a strike from Nade one on one.
But the game changed on the penalty and card, up to that point the Bairns had been pressing hard for the opener and got it from Baird’s spot kick.
The Sons regrouped though and had the ball in the net via another Buchanan header, but it was ruled out for offside.
However the goal eventually came for Dumbarton and in the seconds that remained sub Myles Hippolyte almost swung the game back to Falkirk with a low drive that flashed just past the post