Falkirk opened their home league campaign with a win over Raith Rovers thanks to a goal from the most unlikely of sources.
Midfielder Mark Kerr rifled in a late winner for the Bairns against Raith’s ten men to send the home fans home happy.
After a tame first half where Raith had the best chance but Falkirk had the bulk of play, it was no surprise the half-time score was 0-0.
Kyle Benedictus, later to be red-carded for two bookable offences, had a header booted off the line by Mark Kerr.
Falkirk’s attacks had little end product, and Luke Leahy’s miscued strike close in summed up their efforts.
Raith rarely troubled Danny Rogers’ goal aside from the header and John Baird was having a frustrating afternoon up front.
The little striker had to receive treatment to a knock on his face after being sandwiched between Benedictus and Lewis Toshney. Mark Stewart, who like Baird has led the line for both clubs, fared similar.
The second half opened in much more promising fashion.
A wonder save from Kevin Cuthbert, fully living up to his Cat nickname arched his back to claw a header from Bob mcHugh out of the top corner which was a certain goal.
Then play swept to the other end and Stewart, one on one with Rogers made a mess of his finish. The goalkeeper saved with his legs and the recovering Will Vaulks and Paul Watson combined to nudge the ball away from goal inside the six-yard box.
It was all fairly even and uninspiring stuff until Benedictus was red-carded for a cynical trip on Falkirk sub Scott Shepherd. The defender had already been cautioned, harshly, for a collision with Baird on the halfway line in the first half.
That gave Falkirk the chance and space to attack more often and was a factor in the winner which came ten minutes from time.
Falkirk’s shooting had been off-key, so up stepped Mark Kerr, not reknown for his own striking prowess o fire them ahead.
The midfielder exploited the space infront of the Fife side’s defence and drilled the ball into the corner of the net from almost 30 yards. If plastic pitches had daisies, this would’ve been a daisy-cutter.
The Bairns roared and Rovers boss Ray McKinnon threw caution to the wind to perhaps salvage something with the Bairns numerical advantage in goals and personnel.
It almost paid off late on as Iain Davidson fizzed a shot across goal in the second minute of injury time, but the Bairns opened their home league campaign with a battling win.