Team Pd GD Pt
1 Hearts 10 26 28
2 Rangers 9 14 19
3 Queen of the Sth 10 5 17
4 Hibernian 10 4 14
5 Raith Rovers 10 -8 14
6 Falkirk 9 -6 10
7 Dumbarton 10 -10 10
8 Cowdenbeath 9 -9 8
9 Alloa 10 -8 7
10 Livingston 9 -8 7
Updated: 18th Oct
Saturday August 18th 2012

Falkirk 0 – 2 Raith

Winning Run Continues in Falkirk Sun

The Rovers fans arrived at Falkirk to see from their programme that the home side are apparently joint second favourites for the league.  The Rovers were, however, more interested in making it 5 wins in a row and lined up unchanged.

As the game kicked off, the sun came out and the home side had a chance  in 32 seconds with a quick free kick played forward for Taylor to get onto.  Into the box on the angle, he fired  in a shot which McGurn blocked away well.  The home side seemed keen to get the ball forward rapidly for Taylor to try to use his pace against the Raith defence.  The ex-Bournemouth man’s next effort went just wide from 23 yards.  At the other end, Pat Clarke nearly found Grant Anderson but his pass was just too firm.

The Rovers first corner came cheaply via the Bairn’s ex-Ayr man Smith.   In the 16th minute, Clarke’s header found Brian Graham whose cut back went behind the in-rushing Walker at the edge of the box.

Taylor turned well in the Rovers box but his cross was too hard and didn’t find Murdoch.   Another long pass from the hosts saw Alston fire well over.  The Rovers were getting more and more into the game as the Bairn’s early enthusiasm waned.   Hamill ran forward and Clarke’s dummy teed up Graham whose shot was blocked.

The home side flashed a free kick across the box but there were no takers.  A Rovers corner was headed over by Ellis, who was, no doubt, trying to erase the memory his last visit to Falkirk when he left in an ambulance with a broken jaw.  Laurie tried again a few minutes later but his shot from the edge of the box was made more difficult by the presence of Allan Walker.    Aldo was involved much more constructively throughout and started his third century of Rovers appearances with an excellent performance.

Alston tried to run at the Raith defence but his touch let him down and he showed he needed more practice before he threatens Tom Daley.  The ball was quickly at the other end of the pitch and Flynn was booked for fouling Graham – the referee’s hand was forced by Alston’s theatrics.

Brian Graham was tightly marked but still managed to get a low shot off from 18 yards.  With McGovern in the home goal, the ball went just past the post.   Pat Clarke was closing down the Bairn’s defence and it nearly paid off when he dashed forward before switching the ball to his other foot and forcing a low save from McGovern.

 

Allan Walker opens the scoring

Allan Walker opens the scoring

Taylor, who’d been seeing less and less of the ball, found himself behind the Rovers defence and his cross was put over by Malone.  The first goal came after a good cross field ball found Grant Anderson and he laid it back to the supporting Thomson.  Jason’s deep cross was headed back by Graham and Alan Walker took a moment before putting the ball in from 6 yards.  Alan clearly savoured the strike, running towards the travelling fans at the other end.  The half ended just after Alston found space in the Raith box but nine yards out missed the ball completely.

The Rovers support, having heard dissent from the home stands as the teams went off, expected the hosts to come out firing.  The Rovers players, however, had other ideas – scoring what will be one of the best team goals of the season.  A good ball wide to Grant Anderson saw him play it first time into the box where Walker knocked it on to the back post and Pat Clarke was there to slot home.  A great pass followed by a great touch then another and a crisp finish had the Rovers support on their feet.  Two up there was no immediate Falkirk come back and Walker nearly made it three in the 49th his shot going just wide.

 

Scorer Pat kicks ball at goal!

Scorer Pat kicks ball at goal!

The home support were not surprisingly upset when the referee called play back when Alston went down requiring treatment.  The resultant free kick was blocked but Haworth’s second effort was saved low by the diving McGurn.  In the 60th minute, the Raith support were disappointed when Kingsley’s foul on Grant Anderson in the Falkirk box went unpunished.   Moments later, the ex-Accies man was fouled by Smith, who was booked.  Eddie Malone curled the resultant free kick a foot past the near post with McGovern again beaten.

Falkirk had brought on White, a big lad, up front and his first effort went well over.  Fulton was next to have his name taken for a foul on the lively Clarke.   Hill played the ball into Walker’s path and his first time volley was blocked by the no doubt stinging hands of McGovern.

Graham in the thick of the action

Graham in the thick of the action

The Rovers seemed to take their foot off the gas a little or perhaps it was the effect of Tuesday night’s game.  Falkirk’s Alston shot over from distance and White headed tamely wide.  Callachan and Hamill combined well to play in Clarke running through the middle but the ball got caught up under his feet at the vital moment.  The last effort of the game saw Kingsley’s cross headed over by White.

The Rovers made it five wins from five with back to back League clean sheets.  This was the best team performance so far and Walker and Clarke vied for Rovers Man of the Match.

 

Report John Mainland, Pictures Eddie Doig

0
Welcome to a sunny Falkirk Stadium. There's a smaller than expected crowd - maybe Grangemouth beach is packed???
1
McGurn saves a low Haworth shot well in the opening stages
4
Haworth outpaces Ellis but drills his shot inches wide - he looks sharp
13
In-swinging corner from Walker comes to nothing
19
Murdoch chases a long ball but blazes it high and wide on the angle
25
Hamill bursts into the box and tries to feed Graham, but he's wide of goal and can't beat the keeper
26
Another good break from Rovers, Clarke was well marked and it goes for a corner, which Ellis heads over
31
G Anderson is on the end of a very heavy tackle as he looks to break through the defence. He's okay though.
32
The ball breaks out to Laurie Ellis from the free kick but he volleys well over
35
Murdoch escapes a yellow after a cynical dive, but Flynn is booked moments later for a crude challenge on Graham
36
Excellent turn from Graham, he spins and puts a shot inches wide
38
Clarke robs Flynn then goes on a mazy run. His shot is comfortably saved though.
42
Haworth drives a cross in which is deflected for a corner - could've gone anywhere
44
WALKER scores!!! No more than we deserve. Thomson's deep cross headed back by Graham for him to finish from 6 yards.
45
In my first half updates please Haworth is actually Taylor, and Murdoch is Alston. I misread the team sheet!
46
No changes at half time for either team
47
UNBELIEVABLE! G Anderson defies the laws of physics to flick the ball into Walker's path, and Clarke slams his chip in at the back post!
47
Amazing piece of skill by Anderson to set up the goal there, the stand's still buzzing
56
Not much too report since the goal, Taylor looked very dangerous early on but has drifted out of the game
57
Falkirk have a free kick 25 yards out though...
57
Hamill blocks Haworth's first effort, and McGurn saves his second
57
Hamill blocks Haworth's first effort, and McGurn saves his second
60
Very strong penalty shout for Rovers, not given, moments later Smith is booked for blocking G Anderson
61
Falkirk sub - White for Weatherston
61
Malone fires the free kick inches wide with the keeper beaten
67
Callachan on for G Anderson
74
Sibbald for Haworth
74
J Fulton booked for a tackle - looks like he tried to stamp on Clarke as they tangled afterwards too
76
Walker stings the keeper's hands with a dipping volley
88
Lots of Falkirk pressure without real chances - and Then Clarke is through on goal on the break but can't get his shot away
90
An excellent win on the road for Rovers. Falkirk started and finished well, but were well outplayed in between.
90
Walker and Clarke our stand-out players, but the whole team performed very well.
FALKIRK: McGovern, Duffie, Kingsley, Flynn, Smith, J Fulton, Alston, Murdoch, Taylor, Haworth, Weatherston
Subs: Dick, D Fulton, Sibbald, White, Bowman (GK)

RAITH ROVERS: McGurn, Thomson, Malone, Ellis, Hill, S Anderson, G Anderson, Walker, Graham, Clarke, Hamill
Subs: Spence, Callachan, Donaldson, Wilson, Laidlaw (GK)

Photographs copyright Eddie Doig