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Team Pd GD Pt
1 Arbroath 13 20 33
2 Raith Rovers 13 11 23
3 East Fife 13 3 22
4 Forfar 13 -9 18
5 Brechin 13 1 16
6 Airdrieonians 13 0 16
7 Stranraer 13 -2 15
8 Dumbarton 13 -4 14
9 Montrose 13 -10 14
10 Stenhousemuir 13 -10 12
Updated: 10th Nov
Saturday January 27th 2018

Alloa Athletic 0 – 0 Raith Rovers

STALEMATE AS RAITH DRAW A BLANK

Raith were unable to break down a disciplined and determined Alloa side at the Indodrill today, falling to second in the League following Ayr’s win over Queens Park. Despite holding possession for long spells, Alloa’s four-man defence stood firm, and could even have stolen all three points with a late header flying narrowly over keeper Lennox’s bar. Rovers generated numerous half-chances – new signing Willis Furtado prominent with a bustling energetic performance – but couldn’t break down an obdurate home defence, marshalled by the excellent Gary Fleming.

Raith lined up in attacking formation – with Furtado and Barr wide left and right respectively, and Lewis Vaughan breaking from midfield, Spence and Buchanan would not suffer from lack of support. Scott Robertson had been ruled out earlier in the week with a hamstring pull, with Kevin McHattie starting in defence. In a welcome boost to his manager, Bobby Barr completed the full ninety minutes, and looked full of running through-out. Aaron Lennox started in goal.

In the early skirmishes, Furtado saw most of the ball, putting the home full back Taggart under constant pressure. The Frenchman’s lovely cross-field pass to Barr, stroked thirty yards with the outside of his left foot, was an early indication of quality.

For the home side, Renton and Kirkpatrick formed a rugged partnership upfront. Taking up position against Davidson from the off, Renton was the target for most forward sorties. In the fifth minute, Flanagan’s corner was knocked goalwards by Crane, up from left-back – with the ball holding up in the blustery conditions, Raith cleared well. Moments later, Kirkpatrick twisted away from two challenges, releasing Flanagan to fire a cross through Lennox’s six-yard box. With the game’s first clear chance, Stewart headed straight at the Raith keeper, who gathered well in a crowded area.

After exchanging passes with Stewart on twelve minutes, Kirkpatrick’s curling drive was well tipped wide by Lennox. With their next attack, a deflection robbed Stewart’s shot of its pace and precision – Lennox tidied up comfortably.

Over the first quarter of an hour, Raith had had the better of the possession and made most of the running, however it was the home side who had generated the only clear chances on goal.

With twenty minutes gone, a chance for the Rovers – Murray’s thumping header was well saved by Parry in the Alloa goal. With Davidson drawing cover to the near post, McHattie’s corner found Murray at full height. The packed Alloa defence repelled the danger.

Minutes later, another dreadful injury blow for Kevin McHattie. Clashing with Kirkpatrick as the Alloa man shaped to shoot, the Raith full-back twisted awkwardly, fell, and immediately looked in real discomfort. The match was stopped for several minutes while the prone Raith man was attended to. As McHattie was stretchered from the field, McKay was brought on – Murray moving out to left-back with McKay partnering Davidson at centre-half.

With the match restarted, Rovers were first to press – a full-blooded volley by Buchanan from a great knock-down from Furtado was bobbled by Parry, recovering his ground at the second attempt. While Alloa’s two centre-halves Graham and McCart – the latter the son of ex-Motherwell defender Chris MCart – looked to have the edge in aerial combat, both Spence and Buchanan looked lively on the floor. The question over the 90 minutes would be whether Raith could muster sufficient guile in and around the box to break the deadlock.

On the half-hour, Renton released Kirkpatrick behind Davidson – Lennox was quickly off his line to claim the through ball.

Raith’s enforced change changed the dynamic of the midfield – with McKay impressive stepping out from the back, Vaughan pressed further forward, orchestrating some neat passing movements. Barr and Furtado swapped flanks, keeping both Taggart and Crane on their toes.

The home side, while less fluid than their visitors, attacked directly and caused Raith problems. Kirkpatrick and Renton asked questions of McKay and Davidson, with Fleming running from deep to join his front two. Full back Crane also appeared in forward positions, giving an extra man.

Before half-time Vaughan struck powerfully at Parry’s goal following a corner – the Alloa keeper showed a lack of composure under the high ball. As the half-time whistle blew, neither side could say they had done enough to prise an advantage from their opponents. Managers Barry Smith and Jim Goodwin had plenty to ponder over the interval.

The second half started brightly – Kirkpatrick headed firmly at Lennox, Davidson thumped clear. McCart, up from the back, flicked on another centre – a Raith boot clearing the danger. With the ball holding in the stiff breeze, Davidson and McKay worked hard to win their headers.

Gary Fleming had a fine match for the home side, sitting in front of his back four, patrolling the central third and sweeping up errant Raith passes. The midfielder somehow escaped yellow for a clumsy challenge on Furtado soon after the break, but overall, Alloa’s lynchpin was key in holding Raith at bay. With Rovers regularly committing numbers to the attack, Fleming was called into action regularly and often.

It was an hour before the match really opened up as a spectacle. Stewart’s run allowed Flanagan to cross, Renton’s deflected shot forced one of a string of Alloa corners in the second half.

For Rovers, Buchanan’s clipped finish drifted wide of Parry’s goal; Spence and Graham were locked in combat under a high ball, each grappling for supremacy; and Furtado’s sliced twenty-yard drive was well held by Parry down to his right. Raith’s most fluent move of the match followed soon after – Buchanan collected the ball wide left from Murray’s well-placed pass from defence, Spence outmuscled his man and released Barr at full speed down the right. Barr’s low cross flew through the six-yard box, shepherded away by Fleming at full stretch.

Alloa top scorer Kevin Cawley was introduced on sixty-five minutes, with Renton withdrawn. His introduction heralded a change of emphasis from the hosts – buzzing with intent in the final third, Cawley’s activity threatened to undo the Raith defence in the closing stages.

With driving rain accompanying the cold wind, the last fifteen minutes saw chances at both ends. Cawley drove inside looking to shoot, Kirkpatrick eventually being crowded out; Furtado turned inside, exchanging a neat one-two with Vaughan, but couldn’t create room to shoot; and Ross Matthews’ drive from distance flew high and wide, Alloa’s massed ranks untroubled.

With the match in its final ten minutes, Raith generated some pressure on the Alloa defence, urged on by the travelling support, huddled in the far corner. Vaughan shot at goal, blocked away by Graham; a Furtado strike didn’t clear the forest of legs in the penalty area; both Thomson and Barr fired searching crosses into the Alloa box. Notwithstanding Raith’s dominance of possession in the latter stages, Alloa’s defence survived intact.

Cawley’s free-kick whizzed past Lennox’s far-post after Vaughan was penalised, and a Hetherington free-kick flighted across goal saw Flanagan rise the highest, the Alloa man unable to keep his header on target.

For Raith, there was one final chance – after a Vaughan cross had flown through Parry’s airspace, and centre-half Graham had steered another cross away from danger, substitute John Herron was released with a fine through-ball from Bobby Barr – with Graham struggling to make up the ground, keeper Parry saved well at Herron’s feet, the chance gone.

With the League’s two most stringent defences on show, a nil-nil draw was perhaps no surprise. The sense of inevitability which football fans inwardly dread – the knowledge that there will be no goals, no matter what – began sneaking into the mind from the early stages; Alloa’s defensive numbers repelling Raith, who despite some fine midfield play, couldn’t find sufficient attacking nous to break down the home barricades. Raith drew a blank for the second week running, and fall again to second in this year’s League One campaign.


0
Welcome to a blustery Indodrill stadium for today's clash Alloa v Raith
0
Lennox is back in goals, McHattie comes in for injured Robertson and Furtado makes a start
0
Raith get the game underway
2
Alloa passing the ball around midfield area
3
Furtado with a great cross to Spence, he beats his man but is unable to finish
4
Barrett the ball into the box and Alloa clear for a corner to Raith
5
Furtado again, picks the ball up from a bad Alloa pass, weaves his way through but his pass is intercepted
6
Thomson makes the threat this time goes for the long ball into the box but Alloa keeper collects
8
Spence picks the ball up from a clearance from Furtado. Passes to Thomson who then switches but Barr is judged to have handled
10
Lennox goes for the clearance but the ball gets caught in the air
11
Vaughan is turned by his man. Alloa go for the strike, Lennox outstretches to save and palm away
13
Furtado gets the ball from a throw in gets a decent ball into the Alloa box but they clear the danger
15
Raith now starting to make more of an impression
16
McHattie with the long ball to Buchanan who gets the ball low into the box but Spence can't get a toe to it
18
Fouln on Davo free kick Raith
19
Corner raith
20
Great play between Barr and Buchanan but the latter to slow to fire it home corner Raith
21
Murray close to scoring
22
McHattie down injured sub being made
25
McHattie in a lot of pain
25
Off McHattie on MacKay
25
McHattie' s left knee injured
27
Buchanan with great shot, keeper fumbles and spills the ball Spence comes in but is unable to control and Alloa clear
30
Lennox comes runnjng out and collects the baĺl ending the Alloa threat
32
Good ball in the box from Barr but danger is cleared
36
A weak hopeful shot from Buchanan. Alloa keeper able to collect easily
37
Corner Raith
37
Vaughan with the short pass to Barr who passes it back but his ball into the box is too hard and falls to no one
40
Barr with a good pass to Buchanan is intercepted
42
Vaughan with the long pass to Barr but its too heavy and goes out for a goal kick
44
Great baĺl to Buchanan who plays a short pass to Barr but his chip into the box is easy for the Alloa keeper to collect
45
+1 half time Alloa 0 Raith 0 Raith probably just edging it
45
Second half gets underway
47
Foul on Furtado he tries to stretch the legs and go up the park and is brought down
48
Quick throw in Barr to Buchanan who passes back to Thomson. He can't quite control the all
49
Vaughan tries to run up the park but the ball is intercepted
51
Alloa close. Free kick gets up and over the wall and just wide of Raith goal
54
McKay with a timely block unfortunately it then goes out for a corner
54
Foul on Barr as he tries to run up the wing and is bundled off the ball
56
Buchanan tries for the shot, Spence swerves out the way but the ball goes out for a goal kick
59
Foul on Spence as he tries to find a man to pass to
60
Furtado close as he puts in a low shot
63
Great ball from Spence to Barr who then puts a neat pass into the box but Alloa clear for a corner
64
Alloa sub off Renton on Cawley
65
Barr collects the ball tries to go up the park has two men to take on flicks the ball forward between them but Alloa clear
67
Alloa' s free kick drops into the box but Raith clear
69
Looks as tho Herron is about to come on
70
Good one two between Barr and Vaughan but Alloa make a timely intervention
70
Raith sub off Buchanan on Herron
73
Furtado plays the ball onto Spence but the latter doesnt pick it up
73
Barr gets the ball into the box but Alloa head clear. Matthews picks the the ball up and tries for a shot but ball over the bar
74
Thomson with a good ball thro to Vuaghan who takes it forward passes in to box. Ball then cleared
75
Vaughan again gets the ball into the box, cleared. Furtado tries but nothing
78
Aĺloa sub off Kirkpatrick on Robertson
80
Matthews runs through passes to Barr crosses Furtado goes for the shot but it goes out
82
Foul on Davo as he tries to get the ball and is bundled
83
Free kick Alloa about 30 yards out
83
Ball goes out for a goal kick
84
Spence' s cross to Barr is too light and short
84
Raith sub off Spence on Court
85
Corner Raith
85
Vaughan gets ball to back post but no one there
86
From a corner again vaughan gets ball to front post, ball cleared but no-one can hit it home
89
Alloa with free kick about 35 yards out
89
Herron close he slides in and keeper has to get down and outstretch
91
Alloa close. Free kick getvto back post they head over the bar
91
Full time
91
Alloa 0 Raith 0 Raith with most possession but again fail to finish and walk away with a draw
Alloa: Parry, Taggart, Graham, McCart, Crane, Flening, Hetherington, Stewart, Kirkpatrick, Flannigan, Renton

Subs; Malcolm, McKeown, Wilson, Robertson, Cawley

Raith: Lennox, Thomson, McHattie, Murray, Spence, Buchanan, Vaughan, Barr, Matthews, Davidson, Furtado

Subs: Herron, Benedictus, Court, McKay, Hendry, Watson, Smith

Photo Gallery will appear here shortly

The manager spoke with RaithTV after the draw at Alloa

Raith Rovers travel to Clackmannanshire this Saturday, for the second of their three consecutive away matches.

They’ll be hoping for a far better result than the first though, as they squandered their chance to extend the lead at the top of the League One table, going down by a goal to nil at Stair Park against Stranraer.

They won’t find it east at the Indodrill Stadium however, against an Alloa Athletic side that’s lost just three from their last 11 league matches, a sequence that has taken them to fifth in the table, one point behind Stranraer, and two behind third place Arbroath.

Both sides defensive records suggest this may be a tight affair, with Raith conceding just 18 goals in 20 matches, the best record in the division, while Alloa have the next-best, with the concession of 26 in 21 games.

Both previous meetings this season have certainly been close, with Raith taking four points from the six points available.

It finished 1-1 on the opening day of the league campaign, with Alloa taking a first-half lead through Kevin Cawley, while Rovers relied on a last-minute Lewis Vaughan strike to take a point.

It was December before they met again, and despite Rovers taking a two-goal lead through Greig Spence and Liam Buchanan, they were holding on for the last couple of minutes, after that man Cawley bundled home from close range in the closing stages.

In team news, Scott Robertson will miss out after he picked up a hamstring injury last week, although Kevin McHattie may be in contention, after featuring in the Development match in midweek.

In other injury news, Kyle Benedictus has returned to the training field for the first time since picking up a serious injury against Ayr United in September.

Raith Rovers have a good record at the Indodrill, with no defeats in their last six visits, while their overall record against Alloa is also good, with four wins and four draws from the last ten meetings.

Saturday’s match referee will be Alan Muir.

Head-To-Head League Record at Alloa:

Alloa Athletic Wins: 17 | Raith Rovers Wins: 23 | Draws: 9

Alloa Athletic Goals: 74 | Raith Rovers Goals: 86

Current Form:

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

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

Top Goal Scorers:

Alloa Athletic: Kris Renton 6 | Kevin Cawley 5 | Iain Flannigan 5

Raith Rovers: Lewis Vaughan 19 | Greig Spence 13 | Liam Buchanan 11

Match Odds:

Alloa Athletic: 12/5 | Raith Rovers: 11/10 | Draw: 13/5