Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 0Saturday, 8th May 2021
Scottish Premiership Quarter Final Play Off Second Leg: Lewis Mayo starts in place of Declan McManus. Lewis Vaughan (64) 1-0: Gozie Ugwu (89) 2-0:
Dunfermline`s season ended with defeat to local rivals Raith Rovers. John McGlynn`s side took their chances in a game which many considered the Pars were the better team.
There can few matches since Raith Rovers moved to their ground named after Councillor Robert Stark in 1891 that mattered as much as this one. After a First Leg that produced no goals, it was a case of winner takes all as the two Fife rivals went head to head to try and win the right to play Dundee in the Premiership Semi Final play offs.
Stevie Crawford made one change to his starting eleven, Lewis Mayo came in to take the place of Declan McManus who found himself on the bench alongside the returning Fraser Murray. Raith Rovers also made one change from their First Leg selection, Kai Kennedy dropping out and Dan Armstrong coming in.
For the second Saturday in May the conditions were far from Springlike. It was a rainy day with only 6°C and the floodlights switched on. The stadium which should have been brimmed full of exceedingly excited rival fans was eerily empty due to covid restrictions.
Kevin O’Hara kicked off for the visitors who would attack the Penman Family Stand end in the first half. Both sides started cautiously clearly wanted not to concede early and it was ninth minute before the home side won the first corner of the afternoon which Dunfermline defended comfortably.
O’Hara released the first shot of the match as the Pars went forward and he made Jamie Macdonald hold his on target effort from 30 yards out. Lewis Vaughan collected a yellow card in taking down Mayo as Dunfermline broke in 13th minute. From the resultant free kick Dom Thomas from 30 yards out hit a good attempt that Macdonald was forced to turn behind for a corner. Thomas also delivered that but after Paul Watson headed towards goal the ref blew for a foul on the keeper.
The Pars pushed up again with Craig Wighton feeding the ball to Thomas on the right and after nifty footwork rounded his marker and his dangerous ball into the six yard box was headed clear by Reghan Tumilty. Rovers were being kept well away from the Pars goal but on 20 minutes Regan Hendry pinged the ball through the six yard box just to serve a reminder of his presence.
Armstrong swing the ball into the Pars box but Owain Fôn Williams held with ease before in 29 minutes a great chance fell to Wighton after O’Hara had chested down an Edwards pass. The keeper blocked the striker’s shot from close in and just a corner was earned. That and subsequently won corner by O’Hara were both defended.
Then at the other end Watson blasted the ball away for a Raith corner after Armstrong and Tumilty combined to get in on the right side. The corner from the right fell to Benedictus but his opposite number captain blocked the attempt. Rovers soon had another effort but Armstrong headed that well wide.
Then in 35 minutes a really close thing after O’Hara burst up the left and his cross was spectacularly sliced over his own bar by Benedictus. Next Fôn Williams was at full stretch to parry away a Kieran Macdonald shot.
Two minutes from the break Thomas played a one two off O’Hara to get in on the right and the Rovers had to clear another dangerous ball into their six yard box. It was to be yet another 45 minutes between these teams with no goals.
Half time: Raith Rovers 0 Dunfermline 0
The second half was just 50 seconds when O’Hara went past Davidson to drive a shot at Macdonald who conceded a corner on the right. Euan Murray met the corner with a header that Ross Matthews saw out wide right.
Thomas was next in 50 minutes to attempt to find the opener with a screamer from 30 yards out that sailed narrowly over Rovers crossbar. Thomas sent O’Hara up the right but only two thrown ins followed level with the 18 yard line. O’Hara was looking threatening on both flanks and in the absence of fans, you could hear the panic loaded shouts getting louder from the home side.
Davidson was yellow carded in 62 minutes when taking out Edwards and from the free kick Ewan Henderson chipped the ball into the Raith box where Watson came close.
Raith got the long awaited breakthrough two minutes later when a Macdonald cross from the left could not be cleared properly and Tumilty was able to shoot from the right side. Fôn Williams saved but the ball dropped for VAUGHAN to nip in to finish over the unlucky keeper. 1-0
Stevie Crawford immediately called for Declan McManus and Scott Banks. Both were introduced in 70 minutes with Craig Wighton and Lewis Mayo going off. It was four minutes later when McManus was teed up for his first shot at target by O’Hara but he sent the ball wide left from 20 yards out.
In 75 Matthews was yellow carded and subbed before the free kick was taken. Next chance was just a half one and McManus could not get on it. Raith did well to soak up several Dunfermline attacks but then both Gullan and Vaughan had efforts that just went wide.
A good break from Banks through O’Hara to Thomas created a threat deep down the right but full back Macdonald got back to save the day for the Kirkcaldy men. Former Par Gozie Ugwu in 82 minutes then replaced Jamie Gullan and with five minutes remaining Fraser Murray went on for Euan Murray as Dunfermline went for an equaliser.
Thomas tried hard to get round three men himself but just failed. Then when McManus’ pass went to an opponent it was lashed forward by Spencer for UGWU to latch on to it, brushing off two defenders before crashing an 89th minute shot past the helpless keeper. 2-0
At that it was all over. It had been a Second Leg with fewer chances than the First Leg and Dunfermline dearly paid for not cashing in on Tuesday nights opportunities. The Pars season would come to a sad and abrupt end and Raith Rovers went on to play Dundee in the Premiership Play Off Semi Final.
SUBS NOT USED: Adam King, Timmy Abraham, Nathan Cooney, Robbie Thomson (GK)
SCORERS: Vaughan (64), Ugwu (89)
YELLOW CARD: Vaughan (13), Davidson (62), Spencer (67), Matthews (75)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c)(Fraser Murray 85), Josh Edwards: Dom Thomas, Steven Whittaker, Lewis Mayo (Scott Banks 70), Ewan Henderson: Kevin O’Hara, Craig Wighton (Declan McManus 70).
SUBS NOT USED: Kerr McInroy, Kyle Macdonald, Vytas Gašpuitis, Cammy Gill (GK)
REFEREE: Greg Aitken
WEATHER: Cold Wet 6°C
NEXT MATCH: Next season
Views : 2,438
Raith Rovers 2-0 Dunfermline
Sat, 8th May 2021
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Preview Raith RoversSaturday, 8th May 2021
Scottish Premiership Quarter Final, Second Leg. Saturday 8th May 2021, 3.00pm kick off at Stark’s Park behind closed doors
Dunfermline go into the Second Leg of the Premiership Quarter Final play off at Stark’s Park on Saturday afternoon all square with their Kirkcaldy rivals. After 15 goals in the previous three matches between the clubs this season it was a surprise to most that Tuesday’s First Leg ended 0-0 but Stevie Crawford has optimism over the prospects of a positive outcome generated by the performance of his team in the First Leg and the number of chances they created.
The challenge now is to go to Stark’s Park and win the game to earn the right to play against Dundee in the Semi Final. The question is can Dunfermline improve on their none too good away form?
Dunfermline have won 22 of the 59 matches that they have played at Stark’s Park, Raith have won 20 and 17 have been drawn. The Pars have only won two of their last nine away to Raith Rovers.
Milestones v Raith Rovers (away)
Last League Victory | 02/01/17 | 2-0 | Championship
Last League Defeat | 30/03/21 | 1-5 | Championship
Best League Victory | 29/10/94 | 5-2 | Div One (old)
Worst League Defeat | 01/01/83 | 0-6 | Div One (old)
Last Goalless Draw | 08/09/81 | 0-0 | Division One
First League Meeting | 24/03/28 | 1-5 | Div One (old)
In the last dozen fixtures it is all very even, four wins, four defeats and four draws.
Last Twelve Meetings
04/05/21 | H | Dunfermline Raith Rovers | 0-0 | D | Premiership play off
30/03/21 | A | Raith Rovers 5 Dunfermline 1 | L | Championship
03/02/21 | H | Dunfermline 4 Raith Rovers 1 | W | Championship
05/12/20 | A | Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 2 | D | Championship
19/01/19 | A | Raith Rovers 3 Dunfermline 0 | L | Scottish Cup
08/04/17 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0| W | Championship
02/01/17 | A | Raith Rovers 0 Dunfermline 2 | W | Championship
05/12/16 | H | Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 0 | D | Championship
20/08/16 | A | Raith Rovers 2 Dunfermline 0 | L | Championship
05/08/14 | H | Dunfermline 1 Raith Rovers 0 | W | Challenge Cup
20/08/13 | H | Dunfermline 0 Raith Rovers 2 | L | Challenge Cup
16/03/13 | A | Raith Rovers 1 Dunfermline 1 | D | Division One
Last time at Stark’s Park
Tuesday 30th March 2021
Raith Rovers 5 Dunfermline 1
Raith Rovers moved six points clear of Dunfermline with a resounding Fife derby victory.
Raith made the breakthrough after 17 minutes. It was a really good pass from Brad Spencer that played Regan HENDRY into the box and he cooly stuck the chance away inside the right post. 1-0
Just four minutes later there was a shaky moment for the home side keeper Jamie Macdonald when he came out for a long Edwards ball. O’Hara pressed Macdonald and his shot hit off the keeper’s chest to win a throw in on the right. Comrie picked out Banks and his cross was headed in at the near post by O’HARA. 1-1
A second Rovers goal would come in 31 minutes. Kieran MacDonald’s first attempt to cross from the left was blocked by Fraser Murray but from the throw in the Rovers left back was able to get in another low cross and this time VAUGHAN swept that in for 2-1.
Then in 40 minutes after Mayo had checked VAUGHAN on the left side 25 yards out, the Rovers no.10 netted from the free kick. The ball finding the far side of the Dunfermline goal. 3-1
Two changes were made by Stevie Crawford at half time, Iain Wilson and Lewis McCann taking over from Kerr McInroy and Scott Banks. O’Hara got a shot in within 40 seconds but unfortunately it was Raith who found the net within the first two minutes of the half. On loan Hibee Jamie GULLAN squeezed the ball in at the right post from 15 yards out. 4-1
In 77 minutes the Kirkcaldy side hit on the break with GULLAN netting their fifth!
RAITH ROVERS: Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Frankie Musonda, Kyle Benedictus (c), Kieran Macdonald (Dan Armstrong 56): Jamie Gullan, Regan Hendry, Ross Matthews, Brad Spencer, Kai Kennedy (Dylan Tait 70), Lewis Vaughan (Manny Duku 80).
SUBS NOT USED: Adam King, Gozie Ugwu, Timmy Abraham, Robbie Thomson (GK)
DUNFERMLINE: Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Lewis Mayo, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Scott Banks (Lewis McCann HT), Ewan Henderson (Declan McManus 60), Kerr McInroy (Iain Wilson HT), Fraser Murray: Kevin O’Hara, Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Paul Allan, Dom Thomas, Cammy Gill (GK)
Raith Rovers (H) D 0-0
Alloa Athletic (A) L 0-1
Arbroath (H) W 4-3
Queen of the South (H) W 3-1
Dundee ( H) D 0-0
Ayr United (A) D 1-1
Dunfermline (A) D 0-0
Hearts (H) L 0-4
Dundee (A) L 1-2
Alloa Athletic (A) W 2-1
Queen of the South (A) W 1-0
Arbroath (H) D 2-2
Current League Stats
Only relegated Alloa Athletic’s away form was worse than Dunfermline’s in this Championship season. One away league win was the poorest record in the SPFL.
Raith Rovers home form this Championship season was not as good as Dunfermline’s. They won six of their 13 home matches.
League Position: 4th
League Points: 39
Goal Difference: +4
Away League Record: P13 W1 D6 L6 GF14 GA21
Last Six Match Form: DDWWLD
League Position: 3rd
League Points: 43
Goal Difference: +9
Home League Record: P13 W6 D3 L4 GF24 GA18
Last Six Match Form: DWWLLD
Last time out
DUNFERMLINE (v Raith Rovers): Owain Fôn Williams: Aaron Comrie, Paul Watson, Euan Murray (c), Josh Edwards: Steven Whittaker: Dom Thomas (Scott Banks 80), Declan McManus (Kerr McInroy 73), Ewan Henderson: Kevin O’Hara, Craig Wighton.
SUBS NOT USED: Kyle Macdonald, Vytas Gašpuitis, Lewis McCann, Lewis Mayo, Cammy Gill (GK)
RAITH ROVERS (v Dunfermline): Jamie Macdonald: Reghan Tumilty, Iain Davidson, Kyle Benedictus (c), Kieran Macdonald: Ross Matthews (Adam King 82), Regan Hendry, Brad Spencer, Kai Kennedy: Lewis Vaughan (Manny Duku 85), Jamie Gullan (Gozie Ugwu 87)
SUBS NOT USED: Fernandy Mendy, Nathan Cooney, Dan Armstrong, Robbie Thomson (GK)
Referee will be Greg Aitken who last officiated a Pars game at Ayr last month.
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