Team Pd GD Pt
1 Inverness CT 9 8 22
2 Raith Rovers 9 5 17
3 Kilmarnock 9 5 17
4 Partick Thistle 9 9 15
5 Arbroath 9 9 15
6 Ayr United 9 -4 11
7 Queen of the South 9 -4 9
8 Hamilton Academical 9 -12 8
9 Greenock Morton 9 -7 6
10 Dunfermline 9 -9 5
Updated: 16th Oct
Saturday April 7th 2012

Raith 2 – 1 Hamilton

Double Seals Comeback

Raith Rovers boosted their first division survival aspirations with a hard-fought 2-1 win against Hamilton Accies at Stark’s Park this afternoon.

In truth, this was the proverbial game of two halves.  However, rather than wallow in such predictable clichés, Rovers fans will understandably consider this to be three points that just might prove crucial in their attempt to secure first division status next season.

To say the match commenced at a pedestrian pace would be to afford credit beyond its due.  Indeed, the opening moments were devoid of interest, as the sides quickly became embroiled in a dour battle of midfield tete-a-tete.

The opening exchanges offered little to write home about, although Rovers striker John Baird tried his level best to raise the interest with a swift turn and shot from 20 yards, which Accies keeper David Hutton dealt with comfortably.

Mark McLaughlin opens the scoring

Mark McLaughlin opens the scoring

Despite an uneventful start, Accies unexpectedly took the lead on 25 minutes.  A free-kick out on the left caused unnecessary panic in the Rovers defence, and Mark McLauglin had the simplest of tasks when he stooped to head the ball beyond a flat-footed David McGurn in the Rovers goal from eight yards.

In truth, the goal was merited on the basis that Rovers had singularly failed to exert any meaningful pressure on the Hamilton defence during an insipid first half – the Kirkcaldy faithful were silenced by the poverty of the home side’s performance in an opening 45 minutes that did little to lift their spirits on a cold afternoon.

Nevertheless, those wishing a reversal of Rovers’ fortunes during the interval would not have been disappointed, as Rovers started the second half firmly on the front foot.  Hamill had been replaced by Jamie Walker.  Iain Davidson incurred the wrath of the referee for an innocuous-looking foul, but, after 50 minutes, Rovers levelled the score.  A long pass down the right-hand side evaded the Accies defence as well as the linesman’s flag, and Damien Casalinuovo showed commendable composure to lift the ball over the advancing keeper into the net from a tight angle.


Before - Casa lobs ball over Hutton

Casa lobs the ball over Hutton

Rovers’ tails were up, and they took the game to their opponents.  And, within five minutes, they went ahead.  A searching cross deep into the Accies box was flicked on by the predatory Casalinuovo, and Allan Walker darted into the area to side foot a shot into the far corner of the net from ten yards.

Allan Walker nets goal number two

Allan Walker nets goal number two

The old adage of goals changing games never rang more true, as Rovers exerted pressure on the Accies defence.  Jamie Walker hit the post with a curling effort having created space at the edge of the box.  The game ebbed and flowed and, as the home fans anxiously checked their watches, Man of the Match Casalinuovo was replaced with Pat Clarke with five minutes remaining.  Shortly afterwards, Walker was replaced with Iain Williamson as Rovers sought to run down the clock.

Hamilton pushed for an equaliser, although they failed to seriously trouble McGurn in the Rovers goal.  Nevertheless, the final whistle was greeted with a mixture of joy and relief by the Rovers faithful.

Results elsewhere meant that Rovers jumped into eighth place in the league as a result of this home win.  For all that the win was ultimately a triumph of perspiration over inspiration, the feeling persisted that, despite there being yet much to play for, this was a victory that may prove to be hugely influential come the end of the season.

Man of the Match - Ex-Accie but twice Rover Damian Casaluinovo

Man of the Match - Ex-Accie but twice Rover Damian Casaluinovo

Raith Rovers: McGurn, Thomson, Davidson, Hill, Ellis,  Dyer, Murray, A Walker (Williamson 89), Hamill (J Walker 46), Baird, Casalinuovo (Clarke 86). Subs Not Used: Laidlaw, Graham

YC: Ellis, Davidson, Thomson.

Hamilton: Hutton, McLaughlin (Gillespie 66), Mensing, Canning, Hendrie, Routledge, Redmond (Stewart 83), Neil, McAlister, Ryan, McShane (Longridge 80). Subs Not Used: Blair Currie, MacGregor.

YC: McAlister.

Report Donald Ramsay

Pictures – Tony Fimister with thanks to Iain Martin for snapping DC’s lob.

Teams News: John Baird and Brian Graham back in the squad. Graham has to settle for a place on the bench as Casalinuovo and Baird start up front. Clarke drops to the bench.
Hamilton team news: 3 changes from the team that contested last Sundays Ramsden Cup Final.
Match started. Rovers shooting towards the Mcdermid Stand
Direct Hamilton free kick well over after a foul by Hamill
Header well over from a Hamilton corner after a shot was well blocked by Ellis
Attacking move by Rovers ends when Thomsons square ball is cut out by the defence
Raith corner after Thomsons cross is blocked. A Walker hits it long and Dyer mishits a cross deep into the Mcdermid Stand
Baird loses his marker after a good ball by Dyer, but shot well saved by Hutton
Good passing by Baird, Thomson and Davidson. Ends when Dyers cross is cleared and Hill fouls the Hamilton player on the breakaway. Free kick comes to nothing
Goal to Hamilton. Hamilton free kick headed home by McLaughlin
Save low to the left by Mcgurn after a header from a deep cross from the left
Casalinuovo turns in the box bit his cutback is cleared for a throw by the Hamilton centre half
Thomson wins a corner. Hamill's initial ball headed clear and follow-up effort gathered by Hutton
HALF TIME: Rovers 0 - Hamilton 1
J Walker on for Hamill
Free kick from 25 yards after a foul on Ellis. A Walker right footed. Comes to nothing
Davidson booked
Hamilton corner headed wide
GOAL Rovers! Casalinuovo chases Thomsons ball down the inside right channel and lifts the ball over Hutton for the equaliser
Another surging Thomson run leads to a GOAL for Rovers. Casalinuovo's knock down header isslotted in across Hutton. 2-1 to Raith
Rovers 2nd goal scored by A Walker. Dropped my phone celebrating 🙂
Hamilton no. 6 booked for fouling Casalinuovo
Yellow carded McLaughlin replaced by Gillespie
J Walker booked for fouling the keeper
Free kick to Rovers after Baird brought down. Murrays header from J Walkers free kick off target
J Walkers cross driven towards goal by A Walker. Well saved by Hutton at the near post. Bairds header from the corner headed over
Thomson booked for fouling a Hamilton player after a Rovers attack breaks down
Hamilton sub. McShane off for Longridge
Good interplay between Casalinuovo and Baird ends with Murray dragging a shot wide
Joke decision of the day. Casalinuovo penalised for keeping the ball in play while on all fours in the box under pressure
Rovers sub. Casalinuovo off for Pat clarke
Shot well over by Hamilton
Rovers sub. A Walker off for Williamson
Casalinuovo named Man of the Match
Full time. 2-1 to the Rovers
RAITH: Mcgurn, Thomson, Dyer, Ellis, Hill, Murray, A Walker, Davidson, Baird, Casalinuovo, Hamill. Subs: Graham, Clarke, Williamson, J Walker, Laidlaw.

HAMILTON: Hutton, Mcalister, Hendrie, Canning, Mensing, Mclaughlin, Routledge, Redmond, McShane, Neil, Ryan. Subs: Gillespie, Mcgregor, Stewart, Longridge, Currie.

Photos copyright Tony Fimister & Ian Martin

John McGlynn spoke about a classic Game of Two Halves.

Dougie Hill reflects on the recent performances, and what’s needed to stay clear of the bottom of the league.