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Team Pd GD Pt
1 Arbroath 14 24 36
2 Raith Rovers 14 13 26
3 East Fife 14 1 22
4 Forfar 14 -6 21
5 Airdrieonians 14 2 19
6 Stranraer 14 -2 16
7 Brechin 14 -3 16
8 Montrose 14 -10 15
9 Dumbarton 14 -7 14
10 Stenhousemuir 14 -12 12
Updated: 17th Nov
Wednesday April 8th 2015

Raith Rovers 1 – 3 Cowdenbeath

Colin Nish Treble Seals Derby Defeat

Raith Rovers failed to make it four consecutive home wins, after a Colin Nish inspired Cowdenbeath side, left Stark’s Park with a vital 3-1 win.

The match was preceded by an emotional memorial to former Chairman, Turnbull Hutton, and a poignant minute’s silence, to remember a man who did so much to revitalise the club.

On a sombre evening, Grant Murray made both personnel and tactical changes for the match. Kevin Cuthbert returned in goals, while Martin Scott replaced the suspended Liam Fox in midfield. Barrie McKay returned to the substitutes bench, while Dougie Hill returned to the fray in a back three, alongside Craig Barr and Paul Watson.

Both Cowdenbeath forwards, Colin Nish and Sean Higgins were on the scoresheet during a 3-0 win over Dumbarton at the weekend, and they looked in the mood early on in this match, combining well before setting up Lewis Toshney, who had found space in the penalty area, but the ball was toe-poked away from him by Hill, as he shaped to shoot.

With Ryan Conroy playing more centrally, the width was going to have to be generated by the wing-backs, Rory McKeown and Jason Thomson, and it looked encouraging to that end in the opening moments, when Cowdenbeath ‘keeper, Robbie Thomson was forced to fist away a dangerous looking McKeown cross, after a foray forward.

Lewis Vaughan, who has been so impressive in recent weeks, was the next to threaten, wriggling away from two defenders on the bye-line before haring into the box. With the material of his jersey appearing to be strained by a Cowdenbeath arm, Vaughan seemed to have a decent shout for a penalty, especially when the impediment allowed Thomson to gather at his feet. Referee, John McKendrick however, waved play-on.

Rovers were far from having it their own way however, and weren’t looking entirely at ease with the new formation, especially when Kudus Oyenuga pushed up when the away side had possession, meaning that occasionally, the Raith back line was left with a three versus three situation.

The game’s first real chance came after 12 minutes, when Oyenuga scurried forward with the ball before playing a through pass to Colin Nish. However, with Higgins also in the vicinity, the two of them got themselves in a bit of a fankle, delaying the attempt, before Nish eventually blasted harmlessly wide.

It was a portent of things to come however, with Oyenuga breaking from midfield once again and slipping it through to Higgins this time. His shot looked likely to test Cuthbert at the very least, but the covering Hill slid in to block the attempt and clear it for the relative safety of a corner kick.

At this stage, Raith were having plenty of possession, but it was mostly concentrated in defence and midfield, with plays breaking down the further forward they ventured. Cowdenbeath’s defence were sitting deep, while a cluttered midfield, meant that Vaughan and Mark Stewart were finding few empty pockets of space, something they have thrived on during their recent productive spell.

That said, Rovers should have taken the lead after 20 minutes. Ross Callachan broke up play in the middle of the park, before releasing Stewart, who had scampered down the left. His cross seemed ideal for the two players who were waiting at the back post, but perhaps due to a lack of communication, Vaughan stretched for it first, heading it over the bar, when he seemed in the poorest position to finish.

Rovers then went close again, when a low corner from Vaughan to the edge of the box, allowed Callachan not one, but two attempts at goal, but both efforts were blocked.

However, with Rovers starting to enjoy the lion’s share of the match, the away side took the lead in the 33rd minute. Possession was squandered to Colin Nish on the half-way-line, and despite having a fair trek to goal, the big forward held off a challenge, waited until Cuthbert had committed himself, and dinked a wonderful finish into the net.

It was almost two a few minutes later, after a bizarre mix-up in the Raith box. Higgins teed up Nish, and from just six yards, his attempt was stopped by Cuthbert’s outstretched leg. However, despite having the opportunity to clear their lines, the defence failed to do so, allowing Higgins to clatter a shot goalwards, which appeared to deflect off Hill and loop over the bar, with Cuthbert still grounded.

Rovers had to make more of an impact in the second period, and they started the half well enough. Martin Scott set up Thomson in the first few seconds, but his fierce attempt was blocked by a Cowdenbeath shin. Callachan then had a trademark long-range attempt fly just wide, before McKeown’s audacious 30-yard drive, which bent and twisted in the air, was well turned over by Robbie Thomson.

While they weren’t exactly piling on the pressure, Rovers had looked the likeliest to score at this stage, and they would have done so, had Colin Marshall not headed a Hill chance off the line just before the hour mark. The importance of that block was illustrated just seconds later, as Cowdenbeath went straight up the park and doubled their lead.

The ball was sprayed over to substitute Robbie Buchanan, who made his way unhindered down the right-hand-side, before sending in a low cross to Nish, who had found an abundance of space in the six-yard-box, and he had the simplest of tasks to sidefoot the ball home.

Rovers made two changes to try to rectify the situation, bringing on Kevin Moon and Christian Nadé for Martin Scott and Lewis Vaughan, but despite their introduction, a comeback never felt likely. Indeed, Cowdenbeath went further ahead with ten minutes remaining, when Nish completed his hat-trick, once again finishing from close range, after good work by Jon Robertson.

Nish almost grabbed his, and Cowdenbeath’s fourth, with five minutes remaining, but his shot was repelled by Cuthbert.

Raith did grab a consolation with a few minutes left, when a corner kick was powered towards goal by Christian Nadé, and Stewart guided it past Thomson, but there would be no grandstand finish, as Cowdenbeath won at Stark’s Park for the third April in succession.


0
A nice cool evening here at SP. Obviously tinged with sadness at Turnbull's death.
0
Cuthbert in goals and Hill in. looks like a 3-5-2 formation unless Barr is in midfield tonight.
0
players and officials lined up in front of Main Stand as Alan Young offers a few words...Unfortunately don't know what's being said as I'm deaf.
0
minutes silence observed at 7.49pm
0
Rovers wearing the RemembeR kit and Cowden kick off towards South Stand at 7.51pm
1
It is a 3-5-2 formation with Watson the main central defender
2
Good start by Rovers McKeown cross punched away by Thomson
3
Cowden get a corner and Cuthbert saves a low drive
6
Vaughan down and thumps the ground in frustration. He seems ok though
9
Bit of a lull at the moment
10
Vaughan just over hits through ball to Stewart....
12
Scott tries another through ball....same result
12
First real chance as Nish shoots wide
13
Rovers pressing but Stewart out muscled by O'Brien
14
Higgins shoots and Hill blocks
18
Cowden corner and Toshney screws his shot wide
19
Rovers break Callachan feeds Stewart and Vaughan heads the cross over. It was a 3 on 2.
23
Thomson clearance rebounds off Vaughan into the middle of the box but no takers
23
Cowden free and Armstrong not too far away with a volley from a clearamce
25
Mckeown wins a corner. It's headed just wide
27
Low Vaughan corner driven in by Callachan and cleared
27
Oyenuga powers into the box and Thomson uses his experience to shepherd the ball to safety
32
Goal Cowden (Nish) 0-1
32
Scott loses possession a La Gerrard and NISH a La Dembe Ba gathers and coolly lobs into the far corner
34
Cowden sub Armstrong off Adamson on it was injury enforced
36
Almighty let off as Hill sleeps Higgins gets the ball Nish shoots and Cuthbert parries. Ball back to Nish and he screws over the bar
38
Cowden have their tails up and looking for a second goal
40
Higgins through but flagged for offside
43
Decent Rovers possession but not creating any clear chances
45
Callachan finds Vaughan....m offside
45
Half time
48
Barr stops a certain goal with a fabulous tackle on Nish
50
Nice build up and Callachan piledriver goes wide
52
mckeown this time and Thomson tips over.
54
Corner and Barr heads wide at the near post
54
Oyenuga off Buchanan on
58
Corner. Comes to hill and shot headed away off the line.
58
Corner again Barr heads straight at Thomsin
58
Goal Cowden (Nish) 0-2
59
Defence played off Buchanan and he rolls the ball to an unmarked Nish to slot home at the far post
63
SOS for a couple of attackers but no sign yet. As I text Nade is told to get prepared.....
65
Scott off Nade on
65
Conroy off Moon on
70
Sorry...its Vaughan off not Conroy.....
75
Yellow Hill
77
Higgins off Miller on
78
Anderson on Hill off
81
Nish from 2 yards out
85
Andersons cross far too deep for Stewart
85
Cuthbert saved well. Cowden corner
85
Rovers fk. calkachans effort deflected for a corner
85
Rovers goal. Stewart
89
Stewart's goal on the 89th minute
Rovers: Cuthbert Thomson Watson Hill Barr McKeown Scott Callachan Conroy Vaughan Stewart
Subs: Anderson Moon Elliot McKay Nade Matthews McGurn

Cowdenbeath: Thomson O'Brien Armstrong Wedderburn Robertson Nish Higgins Brownlie Oyenuga Marshall To sheet
Subs: Adamson Kane Buchanan Miller Johnston Hughes Sneddon

Ref: McKendrick

Photographs © Tony Fimister.  Drone Photography © Shaun Balfour.

Davie spoke with Grant after the local derby defeat

After the disappointment of losing to Falkirk at the weekend, Raith Rovers will be hoping to take all three points from the final Fife derby of the season this Wednesday, as Cowdenbeath visit Stark’s Park.

Jimmy Nicholl’s team had a productive weekend, moving out of the relegation play-off place after recording an excellent 3-0 victory over Dumbarton, with goals from Lewis Toshney, Sean Higgins and Colin Nish. Saturday’s win was just their second of 2015, both of which have been against the Sons, but it was enough to see them jump above Alloa Athletic, into the safety of eighth in the Championship table.

If Cowdenbeath want to guarantee that they remain in that position come Wednesday night, then they’ll have to reverse the Fife derby form book this season, which has seen Rovers take nine points from nine so far.

Mark Stewart, Lewis Vaughan and Ryan Conroy gave Raith a 3-0 lead at Central Park at the end of August, before Lewis Milne grabbed a last-minute consolation for the home side.

Kudus Oyenuga fired Cowdenbeath in front at the return match at Stark’s Park in November, but Kevin Moon and Christian Nadé replied for Rovers in a 2-1 win. Nadé was the match winner again in the New Year’s fixture at Central Park, when his late,late header saw Grant Murray’s men grab all three points right at the death.

If Raith do win on Wednesday night, it’ll be the first time Rovers have won all the meetings in a single season since the 1992-93 campaign, a season which saw Raith crowned First Division champions, while Cowdenbeath finished bottom of the league.

However, despite Raith’s recent good form in the fixture, the head-to-head record over the last ten meetings is extremely tight, with four wins for Rovers and three for Cowdenbeath. The Blue Brazil have also made something of a habit of winning at Stark’s Park in April, recording a 1-0 win in that month in 2013, and a 2-1 win at the same stage last season.

Wednesday evening’s match referee will be John McKendrick.

Head-to-Head League Record at Stark’s Park:

Raith Rovers Wins: 23 | Cowdenbeath Wins: 15 | Draws: 8

Raith Rovers Goals: 92 | Cowdenbeath Goals: 67

Current Form:

Raith Rovers: L-L-W-W-W-L

Cowdenbeath: L-L-L-L-L-W

Biggest Home Win: 29/01/1938 Division Two Raith Rovers 6 Cowdenbeath 2

Biggest Away Win: 22/12/1984 Division Two Raith Rovers 0 Cowdenbeath 3

Top Goalscorers in All Competitions:

Raith Rovers: Ryan Conroy 9 | Mark Stewart 8 | Christian Nadé 7

Cowdenbeath: Sean Higgins 7 | Kudus Oyenuga 6 | Craig Gallagher 5

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 3/5 | Cowdenbeath: 22/5 | Draw: 16/5