Team Pd GD Pt
1 Airdrieonians 14 5 26
2 Raith Rovers 13 10 24
3 East Fife 13 10 24
4 Falkirk 14 16 23
5 Montrose 14 0 20
6 Dumbarton 14 -6 18
7 Clyde 13 -3 16
8 Peterhead 14 -7 16
9 Forfar 13 -12 10
10 Stranraer 14 -13 10
Updated: 16th Nov
Saturday October 26th 2019

Raith Rovers 1 – 1 East Fife

HONOURS EVEN IN FIFE DERBY DRAW

Raith and East Fife shared the spoils in a high quality and keenly contested Fife Derby at Starks Park. A bumper crowd of nearly three thousand saw Brad Spencer’s equaliser cancel out the visitors’ opener from Steven Boyd in a pulsating first half, with neither side able to put their noses in front during a second half which saw chances at both ends. The result leaves Raith still on top of the League One table by goal difference from their near neighbours; Falkirk’s home defeat giving the Fife sides a two-point cushion over Ray McKinnon’s title favourites.

With defensive lynchpin Steven Anderson suspended, and a host of injuries to first team squad members, manager John McGlynn didn’t have his troubles to seek in looking to inflict East Fife’s first defeat of the season. Ever-present full-backs Michael Miller and Kieran MacDonald would have key roles in a four-man back division; Ross Matthews made his first appearance since Rovers’ loss at Methil in August; and Tony Dingwall made his first start of the season in a midfield missing Regan Hendry and Lewis Vaughan, amongst others. Brad Spencer and Matthews would each drop deep to protect their two centre-halves.

For East Fife, manager Darren Young had fewer problems, and had a settled squad to choose from – with only former Arbroath frontman Ryan Wallace missing, Anton Dowds was the only new face from last week’s business-like 1-0 win over Forfar at Bayview. With five wins and five draws from their first ten games, East Fife kicked off as the only unbeaten side in the country, following recent League defeats for Celtic and Cove Rangers.

With Starks Park bathed in Autumnal sunshine, the largest home attendance of the season greeted the players shortly before three o’clock – in breezy and bright conditions, the crowd roared from the outset the sides locked horns, looking to stamp their authority on the League One Championship race.

With both sides sparring early on, several key battles emerged – Iain Davidson and Anton Dowds jousted from the first exchanges, Davidson collecting yellow after a forceful challenge as early as the fifth minute; Armstrong tracked Boyd down East Fife’s left; Brad Spencer was tasked with disrupting Agnew’s flow through midfield. Despite the absence of Steven Anderson, Raith seemed committed to getting numbers forward early, endeavouring to pin Aaron Dunsmore to his defensive duties.

Raith’s first corners came in ten minutes – the first from Miller whizzing through the six-yard box with Hart flapping; the second allowing Gullan to shoot, the young East Fife goalkeeper collecting well down to his right. It was fifteen minutes before the first moment of genuine quality – Armstrong dipped his shoulder inside Agnew and fizzed a twenty-yard strike just wide of Hart’s post. Moments later, the winger’s zipping cross required Higgins to hoof over his own bar with Benedictus lurking.

Referee Cook attracted the ire of the home fans with twenty minutes gone – Armstrong, grappling with Watt, Church, and Ross Davidson, fell to earth; having waved play on, Cook subsequently booked the Raith winger for his delayed protests. Rovers, harbouring a sense of collective injustice, had to work hard to clear two East Fife corners – Watt’s deliveries aimed at the towering Dowds in a crowded penalty area. Agnew’s free-kick found the side-netting, McGurn punched clear another corner. With the first quarter of the match gone, the match was simmering nicely.

On twenty-four minutes, the opener for the visitors – Steven Boyd controlled a bouncing ball on the edge of the area, stepped away from Benedictus, and beat McGurn from twenty yards with an accurate drive. The centre of Rovers’ defence had been breached – the diminutive Boyd wheeling away to celebrate as the home support howled in frustration.

Rovers responded well. A MacDonald free-kick flew over after Higgins felled Bowie. Each full-back fired inviting crosses into the East Fife area, Higgins and Dunlop struggling to control their territory. Having forced numerous corners, Raith’s pressure told ten minutes after going behind – Brad Spencer found a yard of space to prod home another splendid inswinger as East Fife’s own defensive barricades lapsed, bringing Raith back on terms.

With Raith having built up a head of steam, suddenly it was the visitors who were rattled. Dunsmore was booked for a hack at Spencer, Dunlop thumped the ball down Pratt Street following a mis-control, and Higgins tripped Bowie as the youngster looked to capitalise on Dunlop’s poor pass. With the last chance of an invigorating first half, Bowie could only head over, picked out by another fine delivery from MacDonald on the left.

Rovers headed in at the interval with their tails up. Having conceded much of the early running to their visitors, McGlynn’s men had taken the initiative after going behind, ending the half in the ascendant. With referee Cook quick to reach for his yellow card, and with little to choose between the sides, would it take a red card or a refereeing decision to determine the outcome? With temperatures dropping as the low sunshine dipped beneath the South Stand, both sets of fans had plenty to ponder at the half.

Both sides re-started at pace. Boyd and Watt drove at the Raith defence; in response, DIngwall’s cross saw Bowie head just wide. Agnew invited Dunsmore in at pace behind MacDonald, with Benedictus needing to be at full stretch to clear. Armstrong’s cross saw Hart gather at the second attempt. Gullan’s drive flew just wide. With Armstrong striding through the bright slice of sunshine casting East Fife’s defensive third in a yellow glow, Gullan again cracked a drive at Hart, his shot blocked clear.

A glorious chance on the hour – Spencer’s deep ball found Bowie one on one with Dunlop; out-muscling his man, the Raith striker squared for Gullan, who could only fire straight at Hart with only the keeper to beat. The South Stand held its collective head, sensing a golden chance missed. The Rovers’ man turned away in anguish.

The visitors had their own moments as the second half progressed. Dunsmore, ever alert in midfield, found Dowds in space, only for the striker’s shot to be deflected clear by Davidson; Agnew found space to release Boyd to run at MacDonald; and Ross Davidson found space on the right after Dingwall lost possession, only to cross wastefully into the McDermid Stand.

With each side’s play becoming cagey, a scrappy disjointed spell followed – Dingwall and MacDonald combined well on Raith’s left, pinning Dunsmore in his defensive third. For Darren Young’s men, Dowds and substitute Denholm struggled to find space, while Armstrong and Gullan became separated from Bowie at the head of Raith’s formation. Referee Cook’s whistle was heard regularly and often.

A defensive lapse brought another Raith chance – Murdoch’s slack pass allowed DIngwall in, the winger’s curled finish not strong enough to beat Hart. More good work from Dingwall allowed Miller to cross, Dunlop easing the ball to safety. The visitors looked to respond, with Dunsmore drifting inside, only for Benedictus to snuff out any chance to shoot. With ten minutes remaining, the match was finely poised. Davidson walloped over from another MacDonald corner.

Rovers had their keeper to thank on eighty-two minutes – McGurn denied substitute Slatterry with a splendid one handed save to keep the scores level – as the crowd held their breath, the Raith keeper threw himself to his left, flexing a strong arm to keep out the goal-bound effort. With East Fife having the better of possession in the closing stages, Rovers were restricted to forays from deep – substitute Baird setting Bowie off on a run, the youngster’s drive gathered well by Hart.

Neither side could muster a final flourish, and with shadows lengthening, referee Cook’s final whistle saw the points shared. Both sets of fans applauded their sides from the pitch, honours even. With East Fife having perhaps edged the first half and Raith enjoying the bulk of possession in the second, in truth neither side deserved to lose what had been a fine advert for Scottish League One. Given the length of Raith’s list of absentees, on balance the draw is more valuable to the hosts than to their visitors.


0
Welcome to today's sunny but chilly league game Raith v East Fife. Matthews returns to the starting line up whilst Hendry is missing from the team altogether.
0
Teams have emerged for the top of the table clash
0
East Fife get the game underway. Raith shooting towards the McDermid stand this half
4
East Fife with a free kick just outside the Raith box in front of the main stand
5
Watt gets the ball in but Spencer clears
6
Davidson booked after a foul on Boyd, the ref 'missing' the foul on Gullan a few seconds before
6
East Fife free kick 30 yards out
6
Ball is swung in but Benedictus heads clear
10
Gullan with a great ball to MacDonald who tries to swing the ball into the box but its blocked
10
Corner Raith
12
Watt tries to squeeze between Armstrong and Matthews but loses out
16
Armstrong with the first attempt on goal. He blasts from 30 yards out but the ball is wide
17
Gullan tries for shot but his effort is blocked
18
Armstrong from a free kick gets the ball into the box ball cleared for a Rovers corner
19
Armstrong booked
21
McGurn with a great save as MacDonald fails to clear the ball from his man
23
East Fife free kick gets into the box Spencer clears and thankfully the ball is just wide from the Raith goal
23
Boyd scores for East Fife as Spencer's tackle doesn't come off
27
Raith free kick after a foul on Bowie
28
Gullan ball lobs the wall but fails to drop in time to fall into the back of the net
34
RAITH GOAL
35
Gullan's ball from the corner falls to the penalty spot. An unmarked SPENCER fires home
39
Dingwall gets the ball to Armstrong who tries a 30 yard shot but the ball is over the bar
40
Matthews with a timely tackle to stop an East Fife advancement
43
Higgins booked for a foul on Bowie who was on course for a goal scoring opportunity
44
Raith free kick, the ball falls just in front of Hart who collects
45
MacDonald gets the ball deep into the East Fife box but Bowie heads over the bar
45
+1 red blows for half time Raith 1 (Spencer 34) East Fife 1 (Boyd 24)
45
Raith get the second half underway
46
Great play between Gullan, Dingwall and Bowie with the latter just coming shy of a goal as his header is just wide
49
Great play from Raith. Started from an in charging Bowie collecting the ball from the byline and turning it back in ending in Gullan going for a shot making Hart dive to save.
52
Great ball from Gullan to Miller who had he raised his head before releasing his perfected weighted pass it would have fallen to the boot of Dingwall to fire home
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
54
Armstrong's free kick is too heavy and goes to the other side of the box
55
Corner Raith as Miller tries to get the ball into the box
56
Benedictus clears an East Fife threat
57
Bowie wins the ball passes the perfect ball into an incoming Gullan who is clear on goal rather than chipping the keeper he hits it low and keeper gets down and saves
64
Spencer has a blast from just over 30 yards out. Ball goes well over the bar but unfortunately Spencer injures himself
65
East Fife sub off Boyd on comes Denholm
67
Spencer is back on the field of play
70
Ball falls to Bowie in the box but East fife intercept to head clear
74
Dingwall wins the ball and brings the ball in. He has Gullan to his right, could have squared it but decides to go for goal. Hart saves
77
East Fife sub off Watt on comes Slattery
80
Raith sub off Armstrong on comes Baird
82
Fantastic one hand save from McGurn. Corner East Fife
85
Raith sub off Dingwall on comes Smith
87
Bowie picks up the ball, brings it back in and tries for a low shot. Keeper gets down to save
89
Today's attendance is 2907
90
Man of the match is Davidson
92
Full time Raith 1 (Spencer 35) East Fife 1 (Boyd 24). Raith had plenty of chances, they just didn't sink them
Raith: McGurn, Miller, MacDonald, Davidson, Benedictus, Dingwall, Matthews, Spencer, Bowie, Gullan, Armstrong

Subs: Munro, McKay, Watson, Smith, Tait, Baird

East Fife: Hart, Murdoch, Dunlop, Higgins, Church, Dunsmore, Davidson, Agnew, Dowds, Boyd, Watt

Subs: Long, Watson, Slattery, Hunter, Denholm, Allan, McConville

Photo’s © Tony Fimister


John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the 1-1 draw against East Fife

It’s a top of the table Fife derby this Saturday, as league leaders Raith Rovers take on second place East Fife at Stark’s Park this Saturday.

Rovers are unbeaten at home in the league this season, but East Fife haven’t lost anywhere in the league this term, as Darren Young’s men continue to impress.

The Methil men go into this one on the back of a 1-0 win over Forfar, thanks to a goal from Steven Boyd.

With Rovers drawing 2-2 with Clyde, the goal lifted East Fife level on points with Rovers, although Raith still lead the table on goal difference, with Falkirk just a point behind the Kingdom duo.

This will be the two sides second meeting this term, with East Fife comfortable winners in the first encounter.

Lewis Allan put Rovers in front, but Anton Dowds quickly equalised. Chris Higgins and Ryan Wallace put the home side in the driving seat, and although Jamie Gullan gave Rovers some hope, an injury time strike from Scott Agnew sealed the points for The Fife.

That continued the Bayview side’s impressive recent record against Rovers, with three wins and a draw from the last five meetings.

Rovers do have the upper hand in this fixture in general though, with six wins and one draw from the last 10 meetings.

Saturday’s match referee will be Barry Cook

Head-To-Head Home League Record Versus East Fife:

Raith Rovers Wins: 15 | East Fife Wins: 12 |Draws: 9

Raith Rovers Goals: 60 | East Fife Goals: 50

Current Form:

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

East Fife: W-W-D-D-D-W

Top Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Lewis Allan 6 | Kieron Bowie 5 | Michael Miller 5

East Fife: Scott Agnew 6 | Aaron Dunsmore 4 | Ryan Wallace 4

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 11/10 | East Fife: 2/1 | Draw: 13/5