Team Pd GD Pt
1 Kilmarnock 36 23 67
2 Arbroath 36 26 65
3 Inverness CT 36 19 59
4 Partick Thistle 36 6 52
5 Raith Rovers 36 0 50
6 Hamilton Academical 36 -15 42
7 Greenock Morton 36 -11 40
8 Ayr United 36 -13 39
9 Dunfermline 36 -17 35
10 Queen of the South 36 -18 33
Updated: 30th Apr
Saturday July 14th 2012

Raith 0 – 3 Hearts

Laurie’s Big Day

Laurie greets the fans

Laurie greets the fans

John McGlynn’s return to Stark’s Park saw his Hearts players emerge with a deserved 3-0 victory against Raith Rovers in Laurie Ellis’ testimonial match this afternoon.

A healthy crowd, including a surprisingly large travelling support from the capital, turned out to pay homage to the popular Rovers defender, who has given ten years service to the Rovers cause in three stints with the club.

Rovers, buoyed by their midweek showing against Ross County, started the match off firmly on the front foot, as they took the game to their SPL opponents.  With Scotland boss Craig Levein watching from the stand, Rovers looked lively, and new signing Grant Anderson in particular linked up well down the right hand side with young Ross Callachan during the opening exchanges.  It was Callachan who had Rovers’ first shot at goal after ten minutes, although he dragged his shot wide of the target from a promising position just inside the Hearts penalty area.

Five minutes later, Pat Clarke threaded a neat pass between the Hearts central defenders to fellow striker Brian Graham, although the big forward’s first-time shot from outside the box flew narrowly wide of the target.

Although Rovers continued to enjoy territorial advantage, Hearts looked dangerous on the break, and former Rover John Sutton almost scored when he burst at pace into the Rovers goalmouth.  However, David McGurn denied the Jambos striker with an excellent blocking save.

Laurie & Grant take charge

Laurie & Grant take charge

Rovers failed to heed the warning, and Hearts took the lead against the run of play on the half hour mark.  There appeared to be little danger as the ball was played into the Rovers box, but the Rovers defence failed to clear their lines, and Hearts full-back Callum Patterson scored with an angular drive that found the bottom corner of McGurn’s net.

Rovers looked to restore parity immediately, and Pat Clarke tested Hearts stopper MacDonald with a free-kick from all of 30 yards which the  keeper tipped acrobatically over his crossbar.

The Gorgie side slowly began to assert their authority on proceedings, and doubled their advantage on the stroke of half-time.  John Sutton controlled a pass just inside the Rovers box, and shrugged off a tackle from Rovers player/manager Grant Murray before sliding a left-foot shot low past McGurn into the net.

During the interval, former Hearts and Rovers striker Scott Crabbe cheered the Gorgie faithful by parading the Scottish Cup in front of the  masses in the away end.  Keith Wright failed to dampen their enthusiasm by suggesting that it would be green ribbons adorning the famous old trophy this time next year!

Rovers made a change at half-time in a bid to haul themselves back into contention, with Clarke replaced by trialist Greig Spence up front.  However, it was Hearts who enjoyed the lion’s share of possession, and looked more likely to add to their goal tally.  Callachan was replaced by Stuart Anderson, before McGurn made way for young keeper Ross Laidlaw for Rovers.

Hearts then made a triple substitution of their own, which included Jamie Walker, a youngster who had made a significant impact during his loan spell at Stark’s Park last season.  Within five minutes, Walker’s fellow substitute David Templeton increased Hearts’ lead.  Following a move  down the left wing, the ball fell invitingly for Templeton, and the winger deftly curled a shot from 20 yards beyond Laidlaw into the far corner of the net.

Thou shalt not pass

Thou shalt not pass

Rovers gamely tried to grab a consolation goal, and Jason Thomson’s mazy run deep into the Hearts box looked promising before the  youngster was crowded out by several maroon jerseys.

A flurry of substitutions from both sides made little difference to the general ebb and flow of the match as it entered its closing stages, although the home crowd were entertained by the arrival of Craig Dargo and Gary Wales.  The biggest cheer of the day then arrived when Marvin Andrews replaced man of the moment Ellis with ten minutes remaining.

It was Hearts who continued to look the most dangerous, although Laidlaw in the Rovers goal kept them at bay with a number of fine  saves.  The young keeper showed commendable confidence and handling skills as the tiring Rovers defence struggled to contain their SPL opponents.

As the final whistle beckoned, an in-swinging Allan Walker corner found the head of Marvin Andrews, but his header sailed wide of the goal.

Although the final scoreline could be said to flatter Hearts a tad, in reality Rovers could have no complaints.  The home side failed to build on a promising opening half hour or so, although they played some neat football in spells during the match.

Laurie clears - not for the first or last time!

Laurie clears – not for the first or last time!

Afterwards, John McGlynn received a rapturous response to his warm words as he reflected on six successful seasons with Rovers.  However, the last word rightly went to Laurie Ellis, who acknowledged the special relationship he continues to enjoy with the Stark’s Park faithful. McGlynn noted that nobody deserved the day’s acclaim more than Ellis, and not a single soul present was about to disagree with that sentiment.

Special thanks to all those who helped set up the Testimonial.  At a time when Scottish fitba has been a bit of a mess it’s events like this that remind us what the game should be about.

Report – Donald Ramsay, Photos – Tony Fimister

Grant Anderson chips the ball through to Clarke whose shot is partially blocked.
Webster passes straight to Graham, who gets it back and flashes a drive across goal and narrowly wide
GOAL! Hearts RB Paterson fires home from inside the box.
Clarke has a good free kick tipped over for a corner
Sutton slots the ball home low to Mcgurns right after a strong run by Driver
Second half kicks off. Rovers replace Hill and Clarke with Malone and Trialist Greig Spence
Callachan off for Stuart Anderson
Mcgurn off for Laidlaw
Malone shoots narrowly over from Walkers corner
Driver, Novikovas and Robinson off for Taouil and ex loan Rovers Templeton and Walker
Templeton scores from the edge of the box. Quality finish
Sutton and Paterson off for McGowan and D Smith
Graham off for special guest Craig Dargo. Hopes are high that he can recreate his 50 yard lob from 13 years ago at east end park....
Goals apart, the second half could only be described as ..... pedestrian
Denis Prychynenko off for Jason Holt
Another special guest makes an appearance: Wales on for Grant Anderson
Big Marvin Andrews on for Laurie Ellis
Manager Murray and Thomson off for Reece Donaldson and Colin Wilson
Raith: McGurn, Thomson, Ellis, Hill, Murray, Callachan, G Anderson, Walker, Clarke, Graham, Hamill. Subs: Malone, S Anderson, Donaldson, Wilson, Trialist, Laidlaw. Guests: Wales, Dargo, Andrews.

Hearts: MacDonald, Paterson, McHattie, Webster, Barr, Prycheynencko, Novikovas, Robinson, Sutton, McGowan, Driver. Subs: Templeton, Tauuill, Holt, Walker, Smith, McGowan

Match Highlights, along with post-match speeches.

Filmed and edited by Steven Ward and Lyle Kilbane

Photographs copyright Tony Fimister

Grant Murray reflects on Laurie’s Testimonial and Rovers’ performance against Hearts

John McGlynn gives his thoughts on the day, his move to Hearts and his confidence for the Rovers’ season ahead

After an exhausting period for the Raith Rovers’ Board, Davie grabs a few minutes with Turnbull Hutton

Marvin Andrews takes a few minutes after his guest appearance to pay tribute to Laurie and show his continued enthusiasm for Raith