The spirit of goodwill to all men was lacking at the Excelsior Stadium yesterday when Falkirk’s hat-trick hero Lyle Taylor had the match ball snatched from him by an Airdrie official as he left the pitch.
Fortunately, sanity prevailed and the 22-year-old left with his memento.
“I got it eventually,” he said. “I’m not interested in all of that – at the end of the day we got the three points and that’s the thing that matters to a team.
“Was it sour grapes? I don’t know. I don’t know who the man who took the ball off me was but if he’s not very happy with how his team have played then it’s nothing to do with me.”
The visitors opened the scoring with a well-taken goal, although there were question marks over the home defending.
Kieran Duffie’s cross found Jay Fulton with his back to goal but Gregor Buchanan allowed him to turn much too easily and he poked the ball home from six yards. Airdrie levelled when Jonathan Flynn mis-hit a Marc Warren free-kick straight to Ryan Donnelly, who fired home his first goal of the season from point-blank range.
But Falkirk were a class apart and Taylor, the outstanding performer on view, produced an emphatic finish from Thomas Grant’s through ball to restore their lead. When Nathan Blockley, already cautioned for a foul on Stuart Murdoch, saw red for another foul on Blair Alston, Taylor headed home Grant’s free-kick. The former Bournemouth striker completed his treble in the final minute, sweeping home a low cross from Duffie.