Team Pd GD Pt
1 Airdrieonians 15 9 29
2 Raith Rovers 15 11 28
3 Falkirk 15 19 26
4 East Fife 15 6 25
5 Dumbarton 15 -5 21
6 Montrose 15 -1 20
7 Clyde 15 -4 17
8 Peterhead 15 -8 16
9 Forfar 15 -11 14
10 Stranraer 15 -16 10
Updated: 30th Nov
Saturday October 5th 2019

Raith Rovers 2 – 2 Falkirk

Rovers Remain Top After Comeback

A second-half turnaround from Raith Rovers saw them and Falkirk draw two each in a pulsating afternoon at Stark’s Park. 

Goals from Louis Lonridge and Connor Sammon in the opening quarter of an hour had Raith on the ropes, but a bravura response in the second 45 saw the home side hit back through Michael Miller and an exquisite free-kick from Daniel Armstrong enabled Raith to take a deserved share of the spoils. 

John McGlynn made just one change from the team which produced a last gasp win over Forfar last weekend, with Lewis Vaughan unfortunately dropping out through injury, and David McKay coming in to replace him. 

It meant a change to the back five which had impressed in recent weeks, with Michael Miller moving into midfield, and McKay moving into the right wing back position. 

There was a penalty claim in the opening moments, when Grant Anderson accelerated into the box before going down under a challenge, but the tackle looked a clean one, despite the protestations of the home support. 

However, those same self fans had barely time to sit back down, before the visitors were a goal to the good. 

David McGurn did well initially to repel a close range attempt from Charlie Telfer, but with the defence unable to clear the ball properly, Longridge was able to drill a fierce low drive through some congestion and past McGurn at his left hand post from 25-yards. 

It was the worst possible start for Rovers, and a huge lift for the away support, who were now giving the visitors a vociferous vocal backing. 

Rovers were looking ragged in the early stages, although a snapshot from Michael Tidser from the edge of the area was blocked well, as the Bairns looked to extend their advantage. 

That lead was doubled in the 17th minute though, as Rovers poor start to the game was exploited once more. 

The home side were exposed down the right hand side, allowing Sammon time and space inside the area, placing a fine curing effort looping over McGurn and into the far corner. 

Raith needed a quick response, and they should have had one in the 20th minute, when the ball fell to Kyle Benedictus six yards out following a corner kick, but he could only stab his effort over the bar from close range. 

Rovers most obvious threat was coming from set-pieces, but the Falkirk defence was looking as formidable as you would expect from a team which has only conceded two league goals all season. 

The longer the half wore on, the more Rovers were growing into it, and they almost got back into the game in the 35th minute. 

Brad Spencer was the creator, dragging pull the ball back to beat the defender, before sending a low cross into the box, and while McKay did well to get a shot away, he didn’t quite hit it as clean as he’d like, although it still took a fine full stretch save from Cammy Bell to keep it out, low to his left. 

Two minutes later, however, the game was almost over as a contest, after McGurn palmed a shot from Telfer straight at the feet of David McMillan, whose rebound attempt was well kept out by the experienced custodian who had spread himself well. 

McGurn then had to gather another decent effort from Sammon, with the Rovers fans incensed at what they perceived to be a foul on Regan Hendry in the build up, and there was an enforced change in the aftermath, with Benedictus going off through injury, to be replaced by Jamie Gullan. 

It meant Raith went to a flat back four, with Gullan moving up front to dovetail Lewis Allan. 

There was a further change for Rovers at the interval, with Daniel Armstrong coming on for McKay, but it was Falkirk who started in the ascendancy, with another dig from distance from Longridge, striking the bar and ricocheting over. 

The game completely changed momentum wise in the 60th minute, when substitute Armstrong’s cross into a jam packed penalty area was glanced on by Miller and into the corner of the net. 

The entire atmosphere changed in the stadium, with the home players and fans now sensing the game had something for them, while Falkirk, who hadn’t enjoyed things all their own way this term, started to retreat further and further into themselves

With their dander up, they almost grabbed an equaliser, when a low cross from Kieran MacDonald looked dangerous, but was eventually hacked away by a Falkirk defender, with Rovers players hovering. 

The game had a rancorous edge added to it in the 63rd minute, when Tidser’s high challenge on Hendry brought the Rovers fans to their feet and the Rovers players charging towards the incident, although referee, Scott Lambie thought it was worthy of just a yellow. 

Perhaps sensing Tidser was fortunate to still be on the park, Ray McKinnon swapped him for Ian McShane a moment later. 

Rovers made their third and final change with just over 15 minutes remaining, with John Baird replacing Allan. 

The game had become a ding-dong, entertaining back and forth, and Armstrong perhaps should have done better in the 77th minute, curling an effort straight at Bell when an opening emerged for him from 25-yards. 

He made amends seconds later though. 

Lining up a free-kick wide on the right, he curled a superb effort towards the top corner, which despite Bell getting a hand to, he couldn’t keep out, sparking scenes in the home end. 

Rovers almost snatched the third with five minutes remaining, when Armstrong’s ball to the back post was headed goalwards by Grant Anderson, but with Bell beaten, the ball was hacked off the line just as it appeared to be heading in. 

The game ended with Rovers on the front foot, and the excellent comeback not only kept them top of the table as the opening quarter of the season ended, it should also give the players heart that they can compete with the League One favourites. 


0
Welcome to today's game at Stark's Park Raith v Falkirk. One change to the line up, in comes McKay to start. It's also a welcome return to Armstrong who starts on the bench.
0
Prior to the game starting the players will hold up the red card to show Raith Rovers support to eradicate racism from Scottish Football and society
0
Raith get the game underway. Raith are shooting towards the home end first half
1
G Anderson wins the ball from Doyle but as he turns in the box, Doyle bundles G Anderson off the ball
2
McGurn makes a great save but Raith clear the ball to the edge of the box and Longridge scores for Falkirk
6
Falkirk corner
10
Miller from the throw in gets it to G Anderson but his first time touch is poor and ball goes out for a goal kick
13
Free kick Raith approx 30 yards out after Hendry is fouled
13
Hendry chips the ball up and over to S Anderson in the box but he fails to win it
16
Falkirk score
17
Allan is fouled ref allows the game to play on and Sammon scores
18
Anderson with a great ball to the far end of the box to McKay. He heads towards goal and Bell makes his first save of the match
19
Anderson picks up a loose ball he tries to get it across the box but it deflects off Durnan. Raith corner
20
Hendry gets the ball from the corner to the penalty spot an in flying Benedictus doesn't connect
21
Twenty minutes in Raith have constantly been pushed deep into their half by Falkirk
24
McKay picks up the ball takes it for a run. He's muscled out by two players in the box but manages to win a corner
27
Gomis booked for persistent fouling on Hendry
32
S Anderson with a great ball to G Anderson in the box but the latter can't connect with it
35
Spencer wins the ball crosses across the box to McKay who has a pop but the keeper gets down low to palm save
37
Fantastic save from McGurn as Telfer has a shot. McGurn scrambles to collect the ball as McMillan comes charging in. McGurn manages to get the ball into his clutches
40
Raith corner after Benedictus wins from the challenges from Doyle
42
Ref 'misses' the stray leg challenge towards Hendry from Tidser and allows play to continue
43
Raith sub off Benedictus on comes Gullan. Bene going off injured
45
+1 ref blows for half time Raith 0 Falkirk 2
45
As Falkirk get the second half underway, Raith have made a second substitution. Off goes McKay and on comes Armstrong
49
Longridge picks up a loose ball and blasts it hits the crossbar
49
Gullan takes a free kick but the ball goes wide and off the pitch
55
In the first 10 min spell of the second half Raith have finally taken control and passing the ball around the pitch
58
Dixon booked as he fouls Millar
59
RAITH SCORE
60
From free kick, Hendry plays it short to Armstrong who crosses it in and Millar is there to slot home
63
The game has just gone up a gear from Raith as they continually push forward in the Falkirk half and start to create mischief
65
Tidser goes in with the high dangerous boot to Hendry. The ref only awards a yellow card
66
Falkirk sub off Tidser on comes McShane
68
Falkirk corner as Millar stops a Longridge cross
68
S Anderson with a powerful headed clearance
68
MacDonald with a lovely pass to Gullan, the latter tries to get the ball low into the box but the keeper collects
70
Baird has been called back to the bench
72
Falkirk sub off Telfer on comes Connolly
73
Gullan takes the ball forward, passes to Armstrong who wins a corner
73
Raith sun off Allan on comes Baird
76
Hendry passes to Armstrong who decides to have a pop instead of passing to an incoming Baird. Bell saves
77
Raith free kick on the edge of the box
77
RAITH SCORE A FANTASTIC GOAL
78
Armstrong from the free kick scores a tight postage stamp goal
79
The Raith crowd are in full singing voice
81
Davidson booked for dissent towards the ref
82
Falkirk sub off Gomis on comes Miller
84
McShane for Falkirk booked
84
Falkirk assistant Taylor is booked
87
Armstrong with fabulous ball to G Anderson who heads down but the ball goes wide
87
Gullan withal low shot towards goal but its deflected. Raith corner
88
Raith with a third corner in a minute
90
Man of the Match chosen by today's sponsors is Armstrong. Man of the match chosen by the fans on the app is Hendry
91
Raith corner
92
Davidson wins Raith another corner
93
Full time Raith come alive in the second half to score two goals. Raith 2 (Millar 59, Armstrong 77) Falkirk 2 (Longridge 2, Sammon 16)
Raith: McGurn, Millar, MacDonald, Davidson, Benedictus, Hendry, Allan, G Anderson, Spencer, McKay, S Anderson

Subs: Munro, Watson, Tait, Bowie, Gullan, Baird, Armstrong

Falkirk: Bell, Doyle, Dixon, Buchanan, Durnan, Gomis, Tidser, Longridge, Sammon, Telfer, McMillan

Subs: Mutch, Connolly, McShane, McManus, MacLean, Toshney, Miller

Photos © Tony Fimister


John McGlynn spoke to Raith TV after the 2-2 draw with Falkirk

 

Joint top scorer Michael Miller spoke to RaithTV after the 2-2 draw against Falkirk

Raith Rovers welcome Falkirk to Stark’s Park this weekend, looking to extend their winning streak to five matches.

Rovers last gasp win over Forfar last Saturday, extended their lead at the top of the table to two points over East Fife, with Falkirk a place and point further back.

Ray McKinnon’s men have tasted defeat just once this term, a 1-0 loss at Clyde back in August, although they did lose 2-0 to Raith in the Challenge Cup at Stark’s Park just four weeks ago, when two penalties from Regan Hendry took John McGlynn’s men into the fourth round, where they’ll face Glenavon.

It’ll be a much changed side which will take the field this Saturday however, with the Bairns making eight changes for that Caramel Wafer Cup tie.

That win was just Rovers second over Falkirk in 11 meetings, with Raith’s last victory a 4-2 triumph back in October 2016, when goals from Iain Davidson, Declan McManus and a double from Mark Stewart sealed Gary Locke’s team an excellent away win.

You have to go back some way to find Rovers last home win in the league against Saturday’s opponents, with goals from David Smith and Grant Anderson handing Rovers a 2-1 win back in November 2012.

Saturday’s match referee will be Greg Aitken

Home League Record Versus Falkirk:

Raith Rovers Wins: 29 | Falkirk Wins: 29 | Draws: 20

Raith Rovers Goals: 116 | Falkirk Goals: 114

Current Form:

Raith Rovers: W-L-W-W-W-W | Falkirk: L-D-L-W-W-D

Top Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Lewis Allan 5 | Grant Anderson 4 | Michael Miller 4

Falkirk: Declan McManus 6 | Connor Sammon 5

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 9/5 | Falkirk: 23/20 | Draw: 14/5