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
Friday November 15th 2019

Raith Rovers 3 – 2 Elgin City

Five Goal Thriller As Raith Make Semis

On a cold winter’s Friday night in the Lang Toun, Raith Rovers booked their place in the Tunnock’s Cameral Wafer Cup semi-final thanks to a 3-2 win over opponents Elgin City in a keenly contested and enjoyable match.  In truth, the final score did little to reflect the dominance John McGlynn’s men enjoyed over the ninety minutes, but of course that will hardly matter to the home side – a place in the last four was the aim, and ultimately Rovers didn’t disappoint.

In what was only the third competitive meeting of the sides – Rovers won the first two – the opening exchanges, played out in front of a live TV audience, were tentative, with the home side’s comfort in possession perhaps unsurprising given the fact that a division separates the sides.  That said, Gavin Price’s team looked confident, unwilling to allow their hosts to impose themselves.

Mind you, Elgin, having removed Airdrie and Dundee earlier in the competition, were entitled to their optimism.  They forced the first corner kick of the game in the first minute as if so emphasise their intent, although Rovers responded quickly, stroking the ball around midfield confidently before opening the scoring in the sixth minute.

Kieran MacDonald, hugging the touchline on the left wing, whipped an inviting cross into the box, and the ball was met with an intelligent header back into the danger area from John Baird, which Kieron Bowie swept home with the minimum of fuss.

Rovers immediately looked to cement their hold on the tie, and good work from Daniel Armstrong led to an inviting cross into the box which deserved a more positive response from the home side.  Within minutes, Bowie should have doubled both the home side’s advantage and his personal tally, but the young striker dragged his shot wide of the target with the goal at his mercy.

Steven Anderson went close with a header, before Rovers scored their second goal with 24 minutes on the clock.  Dave MacKay’s cross was flicked on by Baird, and Bowie, with work to do, evaded several tackles before rounding Thomas McHale and stroking the ball into the net for a fine finish.  Perhaps fired by frustration, City’s Kane Hester earned the first caution of the match for a trip on Brad Spencer.  Armstrong sought to take advantage, though his free-kick from thirty yards whistled past the post with McHale swatting at the air.

Elgin, however, tried to get themselves back in the match, and had legitimate claims for a penalty when Anderson appeared to play the ball with an arm, though referee Euan Anderson was unmoved.  The visitors were enjoying a period of unexpected dominance, and they made it pay dividends with a fine goal. A sweeping move down the right wing ended up inside the Rovers penalty area, and a deflected pass fell into the path of Hester, whose first-time shot flew into the top corner of the net, giving Ross Munro no chance.

The City scorer had a chance to restore parity shortly afterwards, but his low shot was smothered by Munro at his near post.  Despite this flurry by the visitors, it was the home side who almost increased their advantage before half-time.  Baird’s astute pass found Spencer in space outside the box, and the midfielder’s shot was pushed away at full stretch by McHale.

The sides emerged for the second half determined to get on the front foot, and it was Rovers who threatened first, though Armstrong’s free-kick was easily gathered by McHale.  McGlynn’s men had a half-hearted penalty appeal turned down – in truth, Baird’s tumble in the box wasn’t worthy of a spot kick – before extending their lead thanks to Dave MacKay.

Armstrong’s pass found MacDonald galloping down the left flank, and his raking cross was met by MacKay’s prodded shot from twelve yards which found the bottom corner of the net.  Shortly afterwards, Bowie had a chance to secure his hat-trick, but the youngster’s shot flew over the bar from a promising position on the left hand side of the box.

As the game entered its final quarter, Elgin’s chances were seemingly dashed when they were reduced to ten men.  Rabin Omar’s robust tackle on Kyle Benedictus deserved a red card, and at that point is seemed as if the visitors’ chances of getting back into the match were reduced to dust.  Rovers, as expected, dominated possession, though they failed to create genuine goal scoring chances despite numerical advantage.

Lewis Allan replaced John Baird, and the young striker almost made an immediate impact, flashing a shot against the crossbar with the keeper beaten.  Ross Matthews and Iain Davidson went close to extending Rovers’ lead, and Tony Dingwall was introduced for two-goal Bowie as the match entered its closing stages.

City then ensured an uncomfortable final few minutes for the home side by grabbing a second goal.  Against the run of play, Shane Sutherland latched on to a through pass and steered a low shot into the net beyond Munro from close range.  It was a goal out of nothing, but for all it threatened to galvanise the visitors, Rovers held out.  Deep into injury time, Brian Cameron lashed a shot over the crossbar, before the final whistle sounded.

And that was that.  Rovers fully merited their place in the last four of the competition, though Elgin’s brave resistance was such that the result was less than certain until the end.  John McGlynn’s men now look towards their next cup tie, a Scottish Cup match against Peterhead, during this respite from league duty.  The sense of positivity continues into the last weeks of 2019.

The team is led out by Captain Kyle Benedictus.
Corner Elgin.
Cleared away by Matthews and collected in the box by Munro.
MacDonald sends in the perfect cross, with Baird headering down to KIERON BOWIE in the box. He makes no mistake.
Armstrong dangerous out on the right wing. His cross is too high and goes out for a goal kick.
Chance for Bowie. He drills the ball past the left hand post.
Comfortable catch for Munro from a probing Elgin cross from the left.
Corner Raith.
Anderson connects, but not enough power behind his header.
Bowie impeded just outside the centre circle.
Armstrong sends McKay racing down the wing. His superb cross lands at KIERON BOWIE’S feet who double shuffles past the goalie and passes into the net.
Spencer tripped by Hester, who receives a yellow card.
Armstrong’s free kick just over the bar.
Big shout from the Elgin fans for a penalty.
Followed by an Elgin attack. Low cross/shot whistles past Munro, but was too tight an angle.
Ball deflects of Bowie into the box and HESTER thumps the ball into the top corner.
MacDonald cross from the left. It looks good, but no one on the end of it.
Another good cross from MacDonald. This time headed away to safety.
Hester causing mayhem in the box. His shot is well saved but rebounds back to him. This time he tries the pass, but luckily Raith clear the danger.
Elgin are definitely a big danger on the break.
Spencer brings out a great save in the Elgin keeper. (I thought that was in)
Half time: Raith Rovers 2-1 Elgin City.
Really enjoyable first half. Raith looking good, but Elgin are extremely dangerous on the counter attack.
Elgin kick off the second half. Raith shooting into the traditional home end.
Matthews fouled 25 yards out. Direct free kick.
Armstrong’s free kick goes over the wall, but keeper reads it well.
Corner Elgin.
No danger and out for a goal kick.
MacDonald with the cross again, headed back out, straight to DAVID McKAY who collects low into the corner.
Mackay replaced by O’Keefe.
Bowie with a half chance from a tight angle.
Armstrong shirks two tackles and his shot is well saved for a corner.
Really poor challenge by Omar on Benedictus and the ref gives a red. Elgin down to 10 men.
Hester replaced by MacEwan.
Baird replaced by Allan.
Allan chips the ball into the middle of the box, but no strikers to connect with it.
Cooper replaced by McHardy. Elgin’s last substitution.
Corner Raith.
It’s all Raith now.
Corner Raith.
Davidson just over the bar. He falls to his knees, as he knew that was a great chance.
Bowie replaced by Dingwall.
And Armstrong replaced by Grant Anderson.
Granderson wins a corner for Raith.
Allan off the bar!!!
MacDonald sends over a peach and Dingwall heads just over.
Elgin passing the ball in their own box, suddenly break out and a lovely pass sends Sutherland through and slips past Munro.
Disaster for Rovers.
Corner Elgin.
MoM Kieron Bowie.
Elgin’s Cameron shoots just over the bar. That was close.
Full time - Raith Rovers 3-2 Elgin City.
Good win for Raith. They were coasting at 3-1 with the man advantage, but held on well to make it into the semi final draw.
Raith Rovers
Ross Munro, Kieran MacDonald, Iain Davidson, Kyle Benedictus, Ross Matthews, Brad Spencer, David McKay, Kieron Bowie, Steven Anderson, John Baird, Daniel Armstrong. Subs: McGurn, Dingwall, Allan, Grant Anderson, Victoria, Smith, Tait.
Elgin City
Thomas McHale, Matthew Cooper, Euan Spark, Andrew McDonald, Stephen Bronsky, Russell Dingwall, Daniel Mackay, Brian Cameron, Kane Hester, Shane Sutherland, Rabin Omar. Subs: O’Keefe, McHardy, Sopel, McEwan, Wilson, Loveland, Hoban.

Photo’s © Tony Fimister

John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after the 3-2 win at Stark’s Park

Raith Rovers will put league action to one side for two weeks, starting this Friday night, with a Tunnocks Caramel Wafer Challenge Cup quarter-final clash with Elgin City.

It’ll be just the third time the two sides have met, with the first fixture coming in 2005, while the last came 10 years later in 2015.

That first meeting came in the first round of this very competition, with goals from Scott Crabbe, Paul McManus and a Stuart Cumming own goal eventually sealing a 3-1 win for Raith after extra-time.

The second and most recent game also saw Rovers come out on top, in a Scottish Cup 3rd round tie at Borough Briggs, where Ryan McCord and Grant Anderson handed Rovers a two goal initiative, before a Jordan Halsman goal gave Elgin a late consolation.

Elgin reached this stage of the competition by defeating Hibs under-21 team in the first round 4-3, and it was an even bigger scoreline in the next round, when they knocked out Brechin City by the odd goal in nine.

Their next two ties saw them knock out higher division sides, with Dundee being dispatched 2-1 at Dens Park, while League One Airdrie were knocked out 2-0 in the Penny Cars Stadium in the last 16.

Raith reached this stage with wins over Ross County’s development squad, Falkirk and Glenavon.

Friday evening’s match referee will be Euan Anderson.

Head-To-Head Cup Record Versus Elgin:

Raith Rovers Wins: 2 | Elgin City Wins: 0 | Draws: 0

Raith Rovers Goals: 5 | Elgin City Goals: 2

Current Form:

Raith Rovers: D-W-D-D-L-W

Elgin City: W-W-W-W-W-D

Top Scorers:

Raith Rovers: Lewis Allan 6 | Kieron Bowie 5 | Michael Miller 5

Elgin City: Shane Sutherland 19 | Kane Hester 10

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 40/85 | Elgin City: 19/4 | Draw: 4/1