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Team Pd GD Pt
1 Arbroath 36 25 70
2 Forfar 36 7 63
3 Raith Rovers 36 26 60
4 Montrose 36 -1 51
5 Airdrieonians 36 7 48
6 Dumbarton 36 0 46
7 East Fife 36 -7 46
8 Stranraer 36 -12 42
9 Stenhousemuir 36 -26 37
10 Brechin 36 -19 36
Updated: 4th May
Saturday December 2nd 2017

Raith Rovers 2 – 1 Alloa Athletic

Run Goes On With Win Over Wasps

Raith Rovers retained their 100% home record this afternoon, with a 2-1 win over Alloa Athletic.

Two second-half goals from former Wasps, Greig Spence and Liam Buchanan sealed the points, and while a late goal from Kevin Cawley made the closing minutes far more edgy than Raith fans would have liked, the win was thoroughly merited.

Manager, Barry Smith made one change from last weekend’s 2-0 win over Queens’s Park, with John Herron dropping out the squad altogether, to be replaced by Dario Zanatta, who played a key role in that victory, after being introduced from the bench.

He started on the left-hand side, with Lewis Vaughan starting in the centre of midfield, in Herron’s absence

There were some impressive moves from Roary Rover in the build up to kick off, with the giant lion producing some surprisingly slick dance steps to a tracklist that had been picked by the Raith Development squad, which was heavily laden with dance music and grime.

There were probably slightly fewer decent moves in the opening phases of the game however.

Alloa were the first to threaten, with Graeme Smith rushing from his line in the opening few moments to punch away a cross, but it was a painful moment for Euan Murray, who required treatment after Smith clattered him in the process. With a rather lengthy injury list, it was a relief to see the stopper get back to his feet after some treatment.

There wasn’t too much to get excited about in the early passages of play. Neither side were creating anything particularly clear cut, and while Alloa were giving as good as they got, the home side were looking more comfortable in possession than they did the previous week.

Zanatta looked keen to get forward down the left, while Jamie Watson was demonstrating a willingness to do the same down the right, and while that was stretching the visitors to a degree, the final ball in was unfortunately lacking.

The Raith full back was having a severe test at the other end though, with PJ Crossan taking the ball around him twice in a matter of a few minutes.

The first occasion saw the winger fizz in a low, dangerous cross across goal, but the second chance was more dangerous, with Smith having to claw away his deflected effort for a corner.

The tame start to proceedings continued for the opening quarter, and it took until the 28th minute before Raith could muster a chance of note, when a stinging effort from Zanatta veered just past the left-hand post.

There was nothing tame about Steven Hetherington’s challenge a minute or so later however, with his ferocious tackle knocking the wind out of Vaughan, and creating a loud bellow of anger from the home fans.

He was fine to continue, but there was an enforced change after 35 minutes, when Ross Matthews was taken off with an injury, to be replaced by Bobby Barr.

With the more attack-minded Barr in place, it meant Rovers now had three forward thinking players in their midfield four, and while the thinking was that it would automatically lead to chances being created, it was Alloa who impressed most in the half’s closing moments.

Indeed, there was a scare in the 41st minute, when Crossan again evaded Watson before surging into the area, before eventually going down.

While there was contact, it looked too slight for the award of a penalty, although the Alloa man probably had understandable umbrage at being booked for diving, considering his fall looked genuine, rather than theatrical.

It was all looking a little similar to last week, and although Rovers were looking decent in fits and starts, they were again struggling to produce anything of note, with Neil Parry in the Alloa goals largely untested.

They did manage to conjure one up in the first few minutes of the second period, and what a gilt-edged one it was.

Barr sprung the offside trap, but after he was unable to take the ball cleanly around Parry, the ball fell kindly to the feet of Liam Buchanan, who could only blast the ball high over the crossbar.

Thankfully they didn’t have too long to rue the miss however, as the home side took the lead in the 54th minute.

Zanatta was the architect, brilliantly digging out a cross from the right which was ideally placed for Spence’s head, and he gleefully nodded home from close range to open the scoring.

It was exactly what the side, and indeed the game required, with Rovers looking far brighter since the interval.

Zanatta’s deliveries were starting to prove something of a nuisance to the Alloa defence, and his set piece was the next to cause consternation, although Dave McKay was unable to nod his effort on target.

While they were looking a little livelier up-front, Rovers were also doing a decent job of keeping Alloa at arm’s length, but of course, a second goal would give the team and fans a far larger degree of comfort, and that duly arrived in the 66th minute.

Vaughan played a neat one-two with Buchanan on the edge of the area, but after bursting through on goal, his shot from close range was parried by Parry, allowing Buchanan to score into the unguarded net.

The feeling at that stage was that Rovers should be able to see out the game comfortably, or even extend their lead, but Alloa really should have got back into it with fifteen minutes remaining, with a stramash in the Raith penalty area eventually being turned away by Scott Robertson, when it appeared certain that Alloa would reduce their arrears.

The game was almost put to bed in the 82nd minute, when Buchanan was able to whirl away from his marker on the edge of the area, but his powerful effort was driven just over the bar.

Anyone hoping for a straightforward conclusion to the match would be sadly mistaken however, as Alloa grabbed a goal with a little under five minutes remaining.

A corner was wickedly swung into the area, and with no-one reacting, appeared to strike the post, before Kevin Cawley steered it home from close range.

However, the Alloa fans hoping for a grandstand finish would leave disappointed, with Rovers safely seeing out the match, to stay within three points of league leaders Ayr United.

Welcome to a not-as-cold-as-I-thought Stark’s Park.
Very attacking line-up for Raith with Spence, Buchanan, Vaughan and Zanatta all starting.
The electronic scoreboard has Raith 2-0 up on Alloa. Hopefully this is an omen.
Both teams are out the tunnel! Buchanan the captain this afternoon.
Raith to kick off, attacking into the traditional away end.
Nice to see both teams wearing their home tops today.
Murray clattered by keeper Smith as he punches the ball clear.
Zanatta sends in a dangerous cross from the left. Worthy of a ‘woooo’ from the Home support.
Vaughan’s cross away for a corner.
Not creating lots of chances, but Raith playing nice football
Good chance for Alloa, ends with a low cross into the box. No one to touch it in.
Alloa’s Crossan causing more trouble down the left. Deflected cross nicely saved by Snith. Corner.
Corner Raith.
Taken short to Matthews, but ball goes out for a throw in to Raith. Danger over.
Great steal from Spence sets up Zanatta. Nice left foot shot slides past the post.
Looks like Barr might be coming on.
Bit of pinball in the Raith box ends with a corner to Alloa.
Bobby Barr replaces Ross Matthews.
This is the most attacking Raith side of all time!
Crossan goes down in the box. The ref blows his whistle. It’s a yellow card for diving.
Matthews seemed to be holding his lower back as he walked to the changing room.
Half time: Raith 0-0 Alloa
Admittedly not a lot of work for the keepers, Raith have tried to play football. Look very comfortable on the ball.
Alloa first team on the pitch as half time comes to an end.
Thomson cross easily held by Parry
Buchanan shoots over the bar with an open goal at his mercy.
Great work from the impressive Zanatta. He floats in a lovely cross for SPENCE to nod home
Zanatta again from the left, cross headed wide by Murray.
Jings, it’s now as cold as I thought!
It’s gone quiet again...
Vaughan involved in a crazy 1-2 sees his shot well saved by Parry. BUCHANAN reacts quickly and scores with ease.
The Captain enjoyed that one!
Adam Martin replaces Garry Fleming. (Alloa)
Alloa corner blasted away at the near post by Spence.
Claims for a hand ball in the Alloa box from a Buchanan header. Ref not interested
Should have been a goal for Alloa. Ends with a corner.
Trying to work out how Alloa didn’t put that away
Corner Alloa. Smith seems to miss the punch out, but cleared by the defence.
Not sure this game is over yet...
Osei called over the dugout.
Robertson fouls on edge of box.
Alloa free kick goes over wall, but safely into Snith’s gloves.
Buchanan shot just over bar.
Crossan replaced by Adam Martin. (Alloa)
Iain Davidson replaces Liam Buchanan.
Alloa corner.
Corner seems to be left by Snith and MARTIN scores.
MoM Dario Zanatta. Fully deserved.
Yellow card Hetherington. Zanatta fouled on left wing.
Yellow card for Vaughan.
Full time: Raith Rovers 2-1 Alloa Athletic.
Solid win for Raith. Looked very good on the ball this afternoon.
Raith Rovers: Smith, Thomson, Watson, Murray, Spence, Robertson, Buchanan, Vaughan, Matthews, McKay, Zanatta. Subs: Lennox, Osei, Court, Davidson, Barr, Berry.
Alloa Athletic: Parry, Taggart, Crane, Graham, Fleming, Robertson, Cawley, Hetherington, Malcolm, Crossan, Flannagan.
Subs: Renton, Martin, Cook, McKeown, Hoggan, Cunningham, Wilson.

RaithTV chatted with Barry after the 2-1 win against Alloa

RaithTV chatted with Greig after the 2-1 win against Alloa

After a 2-0 success over Queen’s Park last weekend, Rovers will be hoping to make it two wins in two, when fourth place Alloa Athletic visitor to Stark’s Park this Saturday.

Jim Goodwin’s side goes into the match on the back of a 2-1 loss to Ayr United, but they’d been in recent fine-fettle until that point, with five successive wins across all competitions.

That sequence has seen them safely through to the next round of the Scottish Cup, where they’ll face Dundee United, and also rise up the League One table, where they now sit fourth, two points behind third-placed Arbroath.

The two teams last met on the opening day of this season, when it took a last-minute goal from Lewis Vaughan to salvage a 1-1 draw for Barry Smith’s men at the Indodrill Stadium.

Rovers have actually failed to win any of the last four meetings between the teams, with their last home win over The Wasps back in August 2015, when second-half goals from James Craigen, Craig Wighton and Mark Stewart eventually saw Rovers eventually ease to a 3-0 win.

Despite that sequence, Rovers have the upper-hand over the last ten meetings, with four wins and four draws, stretching back to 2014.

Saturday’s match referee will be Colin Steven.

Head-To-Head Home League Record:

Raith Rovers Wins: 28 | Alloa Athletic Wins: 8 | Draws: 11

Raith Rovers Goals: 113 | Alloa Athletic Goals: 56

Current Form:

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

Alloa Athletic: W-W-W-W-W-L

Top Goal Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Lewis Vaughan 18 | Liam Buchanan 7 | Greig Spence 7

Alloa Athletic: Craig Malcolm 6 | Kevin Cawley 4 | Iain Flannigan 4

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 3/5 | Alloa Athletic: 19/4 | Draw: 3/1