Saturday March 30, 2013
Irn Bru SFL Division 1
Airdrie's long wait for a home win continues after Lyle Taylor won it for Falkirk before he was sent-off.
The Bairns emerged victorious from a tight contest at New Broomfield on Saturday to leave Airdrie 10 points behind Cowdenbeath in the relegation play-off spot and 13 adrift of eighth-placed Hamilton Accies.
Manager Jimmy Boyle made three changes to the team beaten 2-1 by Raith Rovers last weekend with 16-year-old Liam Coogans handed his first start for the club.
Coogans replaced Ryan Donnelly in attack with Grant Evans and Sean Lynch coming in for Marc Warren and knee injury victim Nathan Blockley.
The first half was a largely quiet affair with neither keeper overworked as both teams struggled to create clear goalscoring opportunities.
Diamonds full-back Chris O'Neil produced an excellent piece of defending to deny Blair Alston. He showed great pace to match the midfielder's run then made a timely challenge in the area.
In the 25th minute, the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-finalists had a chance to open the scoring but Jay Fulton fired his shot over the bar.
At the other end, Lynch surged into the Bairns box and was unfortunate to see his low drive creep inches past keeper Michael McGovern's right-hand post.
McGovern was forced to block a Steven Hetherington drive in the 52nd minute but Airdrie's good work was wasted six minutes later as Falkirk took the lead.
Centre-back Gregor Buchanan was dispossessed by Lyle Taylor who pushed forward and into the box with only keeper Robbie Thomson to beat.
The Bairns' top scorer had the opportunity to square for Stewart Murdoch but kept the ball for himself and fired his 27th goal of the season into the top corner of the net.
Taylor was then red-carded for a second bookable offence by referee Mat Northcroft on the advice of main stand linesman Ross Haswell.
That decision gave Airdrie fresh hope but they were unable to put Falkirk under significant pressure and force an equaliser.
The Diamonds' afternoon was made even worse when striker John Boyle, fresh from signing a one-year contract extension, was stretchered off with suspected knee ligament damage.
Colin Paterson at New Broomfield.
Photographs © Robert Dalzell. Click to view full size.