We couldn't match them, admits Falkirk boss John McGlynn as he slams 'brutal' defending in Airdrie defeat
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A five-star opening 45 minutes from Rhys McCabe’s side had them five goals to the good, with Justin Devenny, Rhys McCabe, Callum Smith, Aaron Taylor-Sinclair and Callumn Fordyce all getting on the scoresheet.
In the second half, strikes from Coll Donaldson and Kai Kennedy gave Falkirk a glimmer of hope but a stoppage-time penalty from McCabe ensured the hosts have a commanding four-goal advantage going into the second leg, with the Bairns’ promotion hopes in tatters.
“We couldn’t defend for toffee,” McGlynn told the Falkirk Herald. “We couldn’t defend nothing in the box.
"To be fair, they hit a rich vein of form in that first half and they were on fire in that opening period. We couldn’t match them.
"We were second to everything.
"I don’t think it was anything to do with our shape. We didn’t defend and we were punished for it. We should not be in this situation. It is so hard to take.
“They scored on seven-odd minutes and that was that but beforehand it was end-to-end. We attack then you attack, it felt like it was going to be a right good game, but in the end it wasn’t for us.
“We conceded cheap, cheap goals. Three set-plays cost us and our play was slow overall. Airdrie asked us to break them down and we couldn’t while they took every chance that came their way.
“When they attacked, they looked like scoring each and every time. They were clinical while we defended poorly and we didn’t win many individual battles.
“After the break they didn’t have to do much with a five-goal lead but we managed to get back into it at 5-2, hoping to get a third goal to bring the deficit down to two which would have been better. You would have never known at that point going into Saturday’s game.
“We couldn’t do it and we are dealt a sucker-punch with a really soft penalty. We’ve had six, seven, eight better claims this season not given.”