It Gets Closer
Raith’s recent upturn in fortune came to a shuddering halt at Palmerston with Queens sub, Gavin Reilly grabbing the only goal in an uninspiring game of few chances. The win lifts Queens to within 2 points of The Rovers with the battle for survival now heading towards the business end of the season.
Four minutes in, Jason Thomson made a good run from right back but ended up playing a pass to no-one. A poor final product would become the theme for both teams.
Rovers won the game’s first corner on 9 minutes after John Baird beat several Queens players. It was a poor corner from Walker that the home defence easily dealt with.
Raith created another half-chance with 11 minutes on the clock. Casalinuovo breaking a strong run down the left wing which would lead to a free kick being whipped straight into the arms of the waiting Queens keeper, Lee Robinson.
It took 17 minutes before Queens registered a shot of any real note. Parkin and Johnston exchanged passes before the man nicknamed ‘Magic’ hit a shot down low to Ross Laidlaw’s left. The young stopper gathered comfortably.
The Doonhamers fashioned another shot on target on 27 minutes. One-time Rangers trainee, Tom Brighton (bet he’s glad he isn’t at Ibrox these days!) struck a daisy cutter from 8 yards out on the right hand side of the area. The shot was comfortably held by Laidlaw.
With 12 first half minutes remaining Casalinuovo made another strong run off the right wing. The Argentinian’s poor effort was safely taken by Robinson. There were no further incidents to write home about and it was with great relief that referee Winter whistled for half time.
The game’s only yellow card arrived on 48 minutes, with Joe Hamill being harshly booked for a soft tackle on an opposition player.
The game’s best chance came on 56 minutes, and perhaps it was no great surprise it was the home side that created it. Tricky winger, Danny Carmichael bombed the left wing before playing in Alan Johnston, with the latter sending a stinging shot off the underside of the bar, before Laidlaw claimed the rebound.
A series of substitutions followed, with Pat Clarke replacing Damian Casalinuovo for the visitors, ex-Rover replacing Kevin Smith for Queens.
With 20 minutes left Rovers created their best chance. Allan Walker unleashed a thunderous effort from 25 yards out, which was brilliantly turned onto his right hand post by Robinson.
Three subs were made on 75 minutes, with Gavin Reilly replacing Danny Carmichael and another ex-Rover, Steven Simmons on for Scott McGlaughlin for the home side. Jamie Walker replaced Baird for Rovers.
Queens scored the killer goal on 81 minutes. Subs, Smith and Reilly combined before the latter cooly slotted his shot into Laidlaw’s bottom left corner. Even the most ardent Rovers fan would admit that the hosts deserved it.
The game petered out with the home side taking the honours. At least the 100 or so Raith fans who made the trip down to Dumfries were comforted to some degree with the news that Morton lost at Livi and Ayr were involved in cup action. Overall, a day to forget for the Kirkcaldy side.
By Martin Hart
RAITH: Laidlaw, Thomson, Dyer, Ellis, Hill, Murray, Walker, Davidson, Baird, Casalinuovo, Hamill. SUBS: Clarke, Williamson, Walker, Stewart, Trialist.
QOS: Robinson, Reid, Higgins, McKenna, McGuffie, Potter, Johnston, McLaughlin, Parkin, Brighton, Carmichael. SUBS: Simmons, Reid, Reilly, Smith, Atkinson.
After the match, John McGlynn told Davie Hancock that it was close and could have gone either way.
Photos by Colin Johnstone