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Saturday, 28 October, 2000, 23:40 GMT 00:40 UK
Falkirk 3-0 Ayr United
Falkirk celebrate Steven Craig's opening goal
Falkirk celebrate Steven Craig's opening goal
Falkirk once again put their off-field problems to the back of their minds and maintained their advantage at the top of the First Division table.

Defeat leaves Ayr six points adrift in third place, while the home side remain two points ahead of Livingston as it threatens to develop into a two-horse race for the title.

Falkirk manager Alex Totten had shown confidence in his side by leaving his new signing from Kilmarnock, winger Alex Burke, on the bench.

Ayr made two changes, striker James Grady coming back after a long time out injured, and Neil Scally coming in to midfield.

Saved well

Marvyn Wilson and Craig McEwan dropped on to the bench, which also included winger Gary Teale on his return from injury.

It was the visitors who almost snatched the lead in the second minute.

Striker Eddie Annand's close-range header was saved well by Myles Hogarth, but the Bairns goalkeeper could only put the ball into the path of Grady.

Ayr's Glynn Hurst gives chase to Mark Kerr
Ayr's Glynn Hurst gives chase to Mark Kerr
The former Dundee man, though, failed to convert what looked like a straightforward chance.

The league leaders netted the first goal of the match after 19 minutes.

Striker Steven Craig, who went on to produce an impressive display, latched on to a through ball from the midfield area before placing the ball beyond the advancing Craig Nelson.

Falkirk grew stronger as the match went on and, after Craig had gone close in the 73rd minute, John Henry finally made it two for the Bairns a minute later.

Craig's close-range effort deflected into the path of Henry, who fired home from just inside the box.

Substitute Kevin McAllister sealed the points in the 90th minute for Falkirk with a delightful chip over Nelson, cruelly exposing the visitors on the counter-attack as they pressed to get back into the match.

Falkirk: Hogarth, Lawrie, McQuilken, Christie, Denham, Nicholls, Kerr, Henry, Roberts, Craig, Hutchison.

Subs: Seaton, I. Morris, McAllister, Burke, Hill.

Ayr: Nelson, Duffy, Lovering, McGinlay, Hughes, Craig, Boyack, Annand, Hurst, Grady, Scally.

Subs: McEwan, Wilson, Bradford, Teale, Rovde.

Referee: Craig MacKay.

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See also:

27 Oct 00 |  Scot Div 1
First Division team news
27 Oct 00 |  Morton
Morton takeover will go ahead
28 Oct 00 |  Scotland
Burke moves from Killie to Falkirk
27 Oct 00 |  Dunfermline Athletic
More to follow as Nish moves
Links to top Scot Div 1 stories are at the foot of the page.

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