The game sparked into life with less than 30 seconds on the clock, Raith moving forward straight from kick off and veteran Kirkcaldy striker Scott Crabbe turned well on the edge of the box before firing in a shot which beat Airdrie keeper Lee Hollis before rebounding from the right hand post.
The visitors responded with a cross from the left from Alan Gow which provided Mark Roberts with a golden opportunity to open the scoring but the striker miscued his effort from a distance of only three yards.
Airdrie were pressing hard for the opening goal but they found rookie keeper Stuart Hall in excellent form, the youngster making a number of excellent saves on his debut for Raith.
It eventually took a penalty kick to beat Hall, referee John Rowbotham pointing to the spot seven minutes from the interval after Iain Davidson had fouled Gow.
Gow took the kick himself, his effort giving Hall no chance to fire Airdrie into the lead.
Hall's excellent debut performance continued as the second half progressed, the 18-year-old making a succession of fine saves to prevent the visitors from increasing their advantage.
Remarkably, it was Raith who came closest to scoring after the interval when Conall Murtagh saw his low shot strike a post but Sandy Stewart's men held out for a comfortable victory.