Pre-Season Continues With Win At Clyde
Raith Rovers second pre-season outing of the summer produced its first win, with a 2-1 victory over Jim Chapman’s Clyde.
Barry Smith made four changes from the team which drew 1-1 with Edinburgh, with the two trialists, Scott Robertson and Ross Matthews all dropping from the side.
In their place, Jason Thomson made his first appearance of the summer at right-back, while Greig Spence was asked to work in tandem with Liam Buchanan, as Lewis Vaughan shifted over to the left.
In the middle of the park, 18-year-old James Berry partnered Ross Callachan in the central area, while Clyde featured former Raith loanee, David Goodwillie up-front.
Sporting their new strips for the first time, Rovers were quickly out the blocks, with Kyle Benedictus getting on the end of a Bobby Barr corner, only to head it narrowly over. It was the first example of a recurring theme in the match, with Raith’s set-pieces causing continued issues for the Clyde defence.
Liam Buchanan was the next to threaten, after the lively looking Vaughan played him into the left-hand-side of the penalty area, but his attempt to play a one-two with Vaughan was thwarted when Martin McNiff just managed to block the intended return, as Vaughan hovered expectantly inside the area.
The match had opened at a fair old pace, and David Gormley should really have given the home team the lead when teed up just inside the penalty box, but he lumped his shot well over the bar.
Back came Raith though, and Vaughan, who’d looked more of a facilitator of goals rather than a taker of them up until this point, decided to take matters into his own hands, bursting through on goal before rasping a shot straight at Clyde ‘keeper, Blair Currie, who just managed to get his mitts up to parry in time.
Spence was the next to come close, when his header from another corner kick was blocked just before the goal-line, as a Raith goal started to look more and more inevitable.
It arrived in the 15th minute, and whilst it was finished by Buchanan, Vaughan played a huge part in it.
Picking up possession on the left, he weaved his way into the penalty area before making room for a shot, however, he elected to take one feint too many, delaying his drive and allowing a defender to get back and block. The rebound was gathered up by Buchanan though, who took his time and calmly slotted the ball past Currie and into the bottom corner.
After a chance-laden beginning to proceedings, the match took on a more sedate pace after that, as Clyde started to show a bit more about themselves, but it was still the away team which were looking the likelier outfit.
Buchanan almost grabbed his, and the team’s second goal when he collected the ball from a short-corner, before honing in on goal, only to see his effort diverted over the bar, then Vaughan came close as the half drew to a close, receiving the ball from a quick free-kick and whacking his effort a few inches wide of the far post.
There were two changes at the interval, with Barr and Thomson heading for a seat on the bench, to be replaced by a trialist and David McKay, but the second 45 started in a completely contrasting fashion to the first.
Max Wright was unlucky to see his header loop just over the bar not long after the restart, but the Bully Wee did draw level in the 53rd minute.
It came from the penalty spot, after Iain Davidson used a hand to block a David Goodwillie shot inside the area. The defender rushed to referee, David Lowe to stake his claim it was inadvertent, but the official was unmoved, allowing the former Scotland international to cleverly chip the ball into the middle of the net as Aaron Lennox guessed incorrectly.
Whilst Clyde had asserted themselves well in the contest, it was still a little surprising to see them on level terms. However, Rovers wasted little in time in getting back on the front foot, with Clyde once again being pushed back as the half wore on.
Vaughan’s corner wasn’t dealt with particularly effectively, and as the ball was presented to Spence on the edge of the penalty-box, his first time effort, which he didn’t catch cleanly, bobbled slowly through a crowd of players, who all seemed unable to deal with the glacial-paced shot.
To Currie’s relief though, Spence’s effort struck a post and was hacked away, and the goalkeeper had to look livelier a few moments later, to tip wide a 25-yard free-kick from Vaughan.
The winning goal came in the 67th minute, and while it was deserved, it arrived in fortuitous circumstances. Currie attempted to deal with Vaughan’s corner, but he flapped at it, and succeeded only in deflecting it back into his own net off the unfortunate Scott Ferguson.
Raith saw out the remainder of the game comfortably, as both teams introduced an abundance of substitutes, although it was encouraging to see so many young players ending the match from a Raith perspective, with Yaw Osei in particular unlucky not to add a goal or two, after outstripping the Clyde defence.
Rovers pre-season reaches its conclusion this Monday, when Dunfermline are the visitors to Stark’s Park.
© Eddie Doig 2017
RaithTV spoke with Kevin about his new role this season after the 2-1 Win at Clyde
RaithTV spoke with Aaron about signing on for the new season after the 2-1 Win at Clyde