Falkirk hang on to see off Diamonds

Falkirk survived a late Airdire fightback
Falkirk survived a late Airdire fightback

Falkirk cruised to victory in the first half after two goals from Lyle Taylor sandwiched a stunning Stewart Murdoch strike - but they had a nervy ending when Airdrie scored two in two minutes to end the game 4-3.

The interval upset the Bairns momentum as before it, they were simply too good for Airdrie.

Paul Di Giacomo gave the Diamonds hope with a 57th minute penalty, but Falkirk’s advantage and dominance was too great after a brilliant first half.

It was Airdrie who tested Falkirk first and Michael McGovern had to push a drive from Ross Davidson away, but the home side who took he lead on nine minutes.

The intricate passing Steven Pressley works hard on let Stephen Kingsley reach the by-line and cross but was blocked by Buchanan. The ball fell to the edge of the box, Murdoch retrieved and after a quick one-two between Taylor and Alston the striker tucked away as Airdrie claimed a fruitless offside.

Airdrie gave the Bairns a scare in response when John Boyle turned Johnny Flynn but shot wide, what followed was a horror-show for the Lanarkshire side for the remaining 34 minutes.

The Bairns doubled their lead when Stewart Murdoch thundered a shot from 25 yards that caught everyone in the ground by surprise but it nestled in the corner of the net and calmed Falkirk down. They proceeded to play some excellent passing passages going forward with Airdrie on the back-foot.

Taylor headed an Alston looped pass against the bar and followed up to tap-in the third and Alston could have had a goal of his own. Murdoch tapped a square pass to the midfielder who stroked in after great buildup involving Stephen Kingsley, Lyle Taylor and Sean Higgins sweeping from box-to-box, but the lay-off was considered offside and ruled out.

The Bairns were on the wrong side of another officiating call, when Dods was penalised and booked for wrestling Buchanan, and sub Paul Di Giacomo fired the penalty into the top corner

Airdrie’s improvement in the second half almost brought another goal when Blockely drifted in at the backpost and thumped a strike at McGovern. The goalkeeper’s elbow deflected the ball away and Johnny Flynn’s clearance sparked an attack for Falkirk but Taylor spurned the hat-trick chance by firing straight at Kenny Arthur.

The fourth and defining goal came on 73 minutes when Darren Dods went from villian to hero with a backpost header to Jay Fulton’s corner that squeezed in at the backpost.

Willie McLaren scored a late free kick and John Boyle turned in an awful defensive header by Kieran Duffie but the Bairns’ points were safe, just.