First Division: Lyle Taylor grabs a treble as Falkirk’s winning streak goes on

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THERE was further evidence that Falkirk’s young side are maturing into a force to be reckoned with as they saw off Airdrie on Saturday with a convincing 4-1 win in which striker Lyle Taylor grabbed a hat-trick.

The Bairns have now won their last four and Steven ­Pressley’s side got their noses in front in this one just before half-time when Jay Fulton collected a Kieran Duffie cross and turned before shooting past youngster Andrew Duncan in the home goal.

Ryan Donnelly levelled for Airdrie 11 minutes into the second half when a free kick by Marc Warren ran into his path. However, it soon became the Taylor show with his first goal coming when he converted a Thomas Grant pass.

The home side went down to ten men when Nathan Blockley received his second yellow card after a foul on Fulton and they were made to pay as Taylor headed in soon afterwards.

The English striker took the match ball home as an early Christmas present when he side-footed home in the last minute.

Manager Pressley beamed: “I am delighted with the ­performance of our side and it was a really hard-fought win. Airdrie worked really hard but once we got into a rhythm we were excellent.”

“There is a belief about us now and that bodes well for the future.”

Airdrie boss Jimmy Boyle said: “The final scoreline was harsh but you have to take chances when you have them and we had them in the first half. The sending off changed things as Falkirk made good use of the extra space.”

In the only other First Division game played, Cowdenbeath took the lead in the first minute against visitors Livingston, but the Blue Brazil had to settle for a point as the Lions roared back to grab a 1-1 draw.

The game had only gone ahead after it passed a third ­inspection by referee Willie ­Collum and the Central Park faithful were delighted it did in the opening seconds when Marc McKenzie bundled the ball home from close range after a Dean Brett corner had caused panic in the Livingston defence.

Lewis Coult thumped against a post as Colin Cameron’s side looked to secure a first league win in 11 games. However they were pegged back with 20 ­minutes to go.

Visiting substitute Jordan Morton created the goal with a fine cross and Stefan Scougall ­applied the finishing touch from six yards out.

The frame of the goal denied Cowdenbeath twice more as Thomas O’Brien shot against the bar with Joe Mbu also ­striking wood. Morton missed a good opening for Livingston just ­before the final whistle.