Team Pd GD Pt
1 Hearts 27 39 57
2 Dundee 27 9 45
3 Raith Rovers 27 9 43
4 Dunfermline 27 4 39
5 Inverness CT 27 5 36
6 Queen of the South 27 -13 32
7 Arbroath 27 -6 30
8 Ayr United 27 -6 29
9 Greenock Morton 27 -11 29
10 Alloa Athletic 27 -30 22
Updated: 30th Apr
Saturday February 23rd 2019

Raith Rovers 4 – 1 Montrose

Four Goals In Comfortable Win

Raith Rovers won their first league match since January 5th, with a surprisingly straightforward 4-1 win over Montrose.

First half goals from Kevin Nisbet and Euan Murray had Raith two ahead at the interval, and Liam Buchanan made it three shortly after the break.

Andrew Steeves gave the Links Park side some hope with 25 minutes remaining, but on-loan Ayr player, Chris McGuffie completed the scoring in the closing stages.

Manager John McGlynn made just two changes from the side which went down 1-0 to Arbroath last weekend.

The goalkeeper rotation continued, with Robbie Thomson coming in for Dean Lyness, while Liam Buchanan replaced the injured Kyle Benedictus.

Iain Davidson had also been expected to miss out after being substituted at half-time last weekend, but he started at centre-half alongside Euan Murray, with Grant Gillespie moving to right-back.

After the poor form of recent weeks, Rovers fans were hoping for a good start to this one, and they weren’t left disappointed, as the hosts took the lead from the penalty spot in just the second minute.

A mix up at the back saw the ball just being deflected away from Montrose goalkeeper, Allan Fleming, and after he failed to gather cleanly, he was adjudged to have brought down Nisbet, allowing the same player to dispatch the penalty to the ‘keeper’s left, with Fleming choosing right.

The forward looked sharp in the game’s opening moments, and he almost pounced upon another mistake in the 8th minute, when a short pass back to Fleming forced the custodian into action, but he gathered the ball up a split second before Nisbet could get there.

Goal aside, it was a frustrating opening 20 minutes or so, with several promising attacking situations being wasted by forward passes that were being sprayed too far ahead of their intended recipient, meaning too many potential opportunities were withering on the vine.

Montrose were starting to impose themselves a little more, and they had their first attempt at goal in the 23rd minute, when a corner was cleared to the edge of the area, and with the ball being looped back into the area, and Graham Webster should possibly have done a little better than head an effort too close to Thomson.

Neither goalkeeper had had too much to do in the first half hour, but Fleming had to be alert to get down to his left to tip away a Callum Crane drive after the left-back had done well to get forward and fashion a chance for himself, then Buchanan tried a first-time attempt soon after, but his aim was a little less true, as he crashed a shot into the side-netting.

Rovers were building up momentum however, and they doubled their advantage in the 32nd minute, when a Flanagan cross to the back post was kept alive by Nat Wedderburn, and his dinked cross into the area was steered past Fleming by the head of Murray for his fifth goal of the campaign.

Rovers had their tails up now, and they should have made it 3-0 a moment later, when a fine move ended with Tony Dinwall finding Nisbet in bags of room at the back post, but despite having time to bring the ball down and pick his spot, he fancied his chances with a volley, which he blasted high into the McDermid Stand.

The majority of the match was now flowing towards Fleming, but Thomson was forced into a save in the 38th minute, excellently tipping away a Martin Rennie header after the Montrose forward was found in the box by Ian Campbell’s cross from the right.

Crane was impressing down the left-hand-side, and his low cross found Nisbet, whose shot from close range was crowded out, as Rovers ended the half on top.

While the first half had kicked off in bright sunshine, the heavens had opened for the start of the second, as Rovers looked to finish the game early, starting on the front foot, with Montrose struggling to get out their own half during its formative stages.

As such, there was no surprise when it became 3-0 in the 55th minute.

Again, Dingwall was the architect, sending in a low cross which eventually found its way to Buchanan, but despite not appearing to catch his shot cleanly, it wrong-footed Fleming, who allowed the ball to squeeze inside his right-hand post to give Buchanan his 10th goal of the season.

With less than half-an-hour remaining and Rovers still pushing for more, it looked very much like a case of damage limitation for the visitors, but they reduced the arrears with a goal out the blue, when Andrew Steeves blasted past Thomson from 20 plus yards, to suddenly set up a potentially nervy closing quarter.

Any concerns could have been assuaged in the 74th minute, when a quickly taken Montrose free-kick went completely awry, allowing Nisbet a clear run on goal after skipping over a challenge, but his shot was battered away by Fleming who had spread himself well.

John McGlynn had shuffled things around in the closing stages, bringing on Kiean Bowie and Craig McGuffie for Buchanan and Nathan Flanagan, and it was the latter of the substitutes who ended the game as a contest, as his ambitious shot from wide on the right took a deflection and looped over Fleming and into the net to restore Rovers three goal advantage.

With the game now over as a contest, Rovers were able to see out the game comfortably, with the result meaning eight points now separate Raith in second and Montrose in fifth.

Welcome to an almost Spring-like Stark’s Park. Slight breeze. Air’s ‘Sexy Boy’ is playing through the PA.
Liam Buchanan starts today.
Raith led out by Captain Euan Murray.
Corner Raith.
Headed behind for a second corner.
Penalty Raith!
Nisbet to take...
Kevin NISBET slots home.
Rovers shooting into the North Stand. Montrose fans sitting in the Key-Tech Stand.
Fleming reacts quickly to stop Nisbet on the break.
Crane offside from a good Davidson pass.
Ref stops play as Davidson goes down in box, holding his face.
Not a lot to report. Very much a midfield tussle.
Corner Montrose
Superb move down the right with Gillespie setting up Flanagan. His cross almost met by Nisbet
Murray diving header clears the danger. Corner Montrose.
Henderson allowed to turn in the Rovers box, but shoots wide.
Crane weaves his way into a shooting position outside the box. His low shot is well saved by Fleming.
Buchanan shoots wide at the back post.
Flanagan bundles over near the corner flag.
Lovely cross from Flanagan sees the ball fall to Wedderburn. He does a couple of keeppie-uppies and chips to MURRAY who loops a header home.
Nisbet blasts over. That was a chance.
Raith 2-0 Montrose.
Great save by Thomson from dangerous header.
Flanagan fouled on half way line.
And again!
Crane low ball to Nisbet in the box. He turns and shoots, but well blocked.
Half time. Raith Rovers 2-0 Montrose.
Solid performance from Raith.
Thomson is first out of the tunnel before the start of the second half.
Montrose kick off the second half.
Half time sub: Montrose 3 Andrew Steeves replaces Michael Bolochoweckyj
Dangerous Dingwall cross out for a corner.
Good work from Dingwall sees him hit the byline. He crosses low and the ball falls to BUCHANAN who sends the goalie the wrong way
First experience of the new Home singing section. I’m impressed!
Nisbet does well to get a shot in. Out for a throw in to Raith by the corner flag.
Montrose sub: Ross Campbell replaces Iain Campbell
Corner Raith.
Fleming saves well from a Murray header.
Terry Masson shoots low past the full stretch Thomson. Raith 3-1 Montrose.
Raith sub: Craig McGuffie replaces Nathan Flanagan.
Fleming rushes out of his box to clear before Nisbet gets to the ball.
Montrose’s last sub: Patrick Cregg is replaced by Liam Callaghan.
Raith sub: Jamie Barjonas is replaced by Ross Matthews.
Brilliant save from Fleming. Nisbet was clean through, shot low, but blocked away to safety.
Rennie booked for a foul on Gillespie.
Wedderburn fouls. Montrose free kick.
Raith sub: Liam Buchanan replaced by Kieron Bowie
McGUFFIE shoots from outside the corner of the box. Ball takes a wicked deflection and loops high over Fleming and into the net.
Half-chance for Montrose, but shot well over the bar.
Att: 1,289
MoM: Kevin Nisbet.
Corner Raith.
Dingwall to take it.
Murray again the target man. Deflected clear.
Full time: Raith Rovers 4-1 Montrose.
Great applause from the stands. Raith deserve it.
Raith Rovers
Robbie Thomson, Calum Crane, Iain Davidson, Euan Murray, Grant Gillespie, Liam Buchanan, Tony Dingwall, Nat Wedderburn, Nathan Flanagan, Kevin Nisbet, Jamie Barjonas. Subs: Lyness, Matthews, McKay, Berry, Watson, McGuffie, Bowie
Allan Fleming, Terry Masson, Ryan Harrington, Iain Campbell, Sean Dillon, Michael Bolochoweckyj, Graham Webster, Patrick Cregg, Martin Rennie, Euan Henderson, Jamie Redman. Subs: Matthews, McLean, Anotoniazzi, Callaghan, Watson, Steeves, Campbell

Raith TV talked to John McGlynn after the 4-1 win against Montrose

Raith Rovers entertain Montrose this Saturday, with both sides aiming to finish in the playoff spots.

Rovers are now second only on goal difference from Forfar Athletic, with East Fife just two points behind, but fifth placed Montrose are just five points behind Rovers, and a win for Stewart Petrie’s men would make things extremely tight in the race for a top four finish.

The Mo’ go into the game in fine fettle, with just two defeats in their last eight league games, and their performances this term have been one of the surprises of the season, with many tipping them as the favourites to go straight back down at the end of the season.

A run of just two wins from their opening 10 League One fixtures seemed to confirm those early predictions, but since October they’ve been one of the division’s form sides, and are now very much looking up, rather than down the table.

Rovers have yet to beat Montrose this season, taking just one point from the two matches.

The first at Stark’s Park in February saw the teams tied at one apiece, with Rovers reliant on an Iain Campbell own goal to rescue a point.

Montrose recorded heir first win over Rovers in over 30 years in December, despite Daniel Armstrong giving Rovers the lead in just the third minute.

Top scorer, Martin Rennie brought the scores level after 10 minutes, and Craig Johnston handed the home side a second half advantage, only for Kevin Nisbet to being the scores level again with 15 minutes remaining.

However, just five minutes later, Ross Campbell steered the ball home to seal a 3-2 win for the Gable Endies.

Despite those results, Rovers have a good record in this fixture, with seven wins and two draws from the last ten meetings.

Saturday’s match referee will be Mike Roncone.

Head-To-Head Home League Record Versus Montrose:

Raith Rovers Wins: 15 | Montrose Wins: 3 | Draws: 7

Raith Rovers Goals: 58 | Montrose Goals: 23

Current Form:

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

Top Goal Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Kevin Nisbet 21 | Liam Buchanan 9 | Lewis Vaughan 9

Montrose: Martin Rennie 10 | Euan Henderson 4 | Craig Johnston 4

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 3/4 | Montrose: 16/5 | Draw: 3/1