Nov 4 2012 By Colin Paterson
WILLIAM HILL SCOTTISH CUP
RAITH ROVERS 2
Jimmy Boyle acknowledged that Airdrie squandered a golden opportunity after an injury-time equaliser earned ten-man Raith a replay.
The Diamonds appeared to be on course for a place in the fourth round after Gavin Griffin and a Jason Thomson own goal wiped out Simon Mensing's opener.
The visitors had top goalscorer Brian Graham sent-off but ex-Celtic youngster Greig Spence slid home a low cross from substitute Grant Anderson to take the tie back to Kirkcaldy.
And Airdrie chief Boyle admitted poor defending had cost his side dear at New Broomfield on Saturday.
He said: "I thought we played reasonably well. Raith started the better side but we got into the game and caused them problems.
"The effort from the players was great but we have to stop conceding cheap goals. It's really disappointing as it's a massive chance lost."
Rovers took the lead in the 13th minute when Spence's cross was nodded down by Graham for Mensing to smash past keeper Kenny Arthur.
But Airdrie were level before the half-hour mark with Griffin volleying home his first goal of the season after good play by Jamie Bain.
The hosts had a good chance to go in front in the 34th minute but Michael Hart's centre was headed just over the bar by Paul Di Giacomo.
Referee Stephen Finnie red-carded Graham, for an apparent elbow on Kieron Stallard, after consulting with main stand linesman Stuart MacMillan.
And things got even better for Airdrie in the 77th minute when full-back Thomson guided Hart's cross to the back post into his own net.
Allan Walker struck the post for Raith with a minute left before Spence got them out of jail with his seventh goal of the season. The replay will take place at Stark's Park on Tuesday, November 13.
Raith boss Grant Murray said: "At one point it looked like we were going out of the cup but great fighting spirit kept us in it.
"We bounced back after going down to ten men and there was no chance of Airdrie coming back after getting the equaliser so late-on."
Airdrie: Arthur; Hart, Evans, Buchanan, Griffin; Stallard, Bain, Blockley, Watt (McLaren 69); Di Giacomo (Donnelly 78), John Boyle.
Subs not used: Jack Boyle, Lamie, Duncan(gk).
Booked: Evans, Stallard.
Raith: Laidlaw; Thomson, Ellis, Hill, Donaldson; Mensing; Spence, S Anderson (G Anderson 80), Walker, Clarke (Smith 45); Graham.
Subs not used: Hamill, Vaughan, Roberts(gk).
Booked: Laidlaw, Hill, Walker, Clarke. Sent-off: Graham.
Referee: Stephen Finnie.