Team Pd GD Pt
1 Inverness CT 10 8 23
2 Kilmarnock 10 6 20
3 Raith Rovers 10 5 18
4 Partick Thistle 10 9 16
5 Arbroath 10 9 16
6 Ayr United 10 -4 12
7 Queen of the South 10 -4 10
8 Hamilton Academical 10 -13 8
9 Greenock Morton 10 -7 7
10 Dunfermline 10 -9 6
Updated: 23rd Oct
Tuesday March 23rd 2021

Stirling Albion 0 – 2 Raith Rovers

UGWU AND TAIT SEE RAITH THROUGH

Raith eased past a dogged and determined Stirling Albion side, with headed goals from Gozie Ugwu and Dylan Tait seeing Rovers into the Third Round of this season’s Scottish Cup. While Stirling played some good quality football and flowed well through midfield in passages of each half, in truth Raith didn’t look in danger and once Ugwu had headed the visitors into the lead just before the interval, the result was never in doubt.

For Raith, with a worrying lack of goals over recent games in danger of developing into a habit, John McGlynn made a number of changes from the weekend draw at Somerset Park. Mindful of the congested run of fixtures being faced by most teams outside the Scottish Premier League at present, McGlynn started Gullan, King, Tait, and Kennedy in midfield, with Gozie Ugwu also recalled to lead the line. Within two minutes of kick-off, Gullan had fired at Currie from distance, and a marauding Kieran MacDonald had forced another near-post save from the Stirling keeper – Stirling captain Ross MacGeachie trailing in his wake.

Stirling returned to League Two action with a deserved win over Brechin at Forthbank on Saturday, left-sided midfielder Kieran Moore’s controlled finish the difference between the two sides. The win preserved the Binos’ second place in the table, five behind Ray MacKinnon’s Queens Park, and three points ahead of Elgin and Stranraer in joint third. Stirling’s most recent defeat came as far back as November 21st when Elgin were the visitors – indeed, Elgin’s visit on League duty this coming Saturday may have played in manager Kevin Rutkiewicz’s mind in naming his team: strikers Declan Byrne and Andy Ryan, with nine goals between them this season, each dropped to the bench, amongst seven changes overall.

While Raith enjoyed the bulk of the early possession, they had a real scare on ten minutes, as Kieran Moore passed up a gilt-edged chance to put the hosts ahead – Jack Leitch’s lovely diagonal ball found the Raith defence pulled badly to one side, leaving Moore clear in on goal – the youngster held his head in his hands as his shot flew wildly over MacDonald’s bar.

Stung by their defensive lapse, Raith upped their tempo, and within a minute Jamie Gullan fired at goal from Tumilty’s cross, with keeper Currie doing well to concede only a corner. Gullan, the most lively Rovers player in the first half, set up Kennedy who drilled another shot into the keeper’s midriff on twenty minutes. At the other end, Dylan Mackin set Sean Heaver flying down the right wing, the midfielder’s early cross cut out by Musonda at full stretch.

Kai Kennedy was next to threaten for Raith – with a corner only headed partially clear, the Rangers loanee set himself and whipped a fine drive narrowly outside Currie’s left-hand post. For the hosts, Ross MacGeachie found space to cut inside and drive a cross-shot at Jamie MacDonald, the Raith keeper remaining alert to gather underneath his cross-bar.

The momentum was now firmly with Raith – great work from Dylan Tait created space for Adam King to fire on goal; Currie blocking well with his legs. With three minutes to the half, Tumilty’s flashing cross was flicked just wide by Gullan as Rovers’ pressure continued to build – and on the stroke of half-time Raith had their reward as Gozie Ugwu headed home at the far-post from Tait’s corner with Currie grasping at thin air. While Stirling had had their moments, Raith had earned their lead having controlled possession and having created a number of good openings.

Seeking to press home their advantage, Raith started strongly in the second period, with first Tait then Tumilty crossing dangerously into the Binos’ six-yard area. Stirling centre-half Meggatt was caught in possession, and only last-ditch defending by El Zubaidi prevented Gullan’s clear run in on goal.

Rovers continued to press, and continued to generate a number of half-chances, with Currie’s goal peppered with long-range shots and deep crosses. With Dylan Tait and Kai Kennedy continuing to draw the eye with a number of athletic bursts through midfield, Adam King had a fine chance to score on the hour but couldn’t make contact, Ugwu’s header flew just over, and Gullan’s free-kick on sixty-six minutes fizzed straight into Currie’s midriff.

Despite Raith flowing freely through midfield, Stirling’s Kevin Rutkiewicz made a couple of attacking chances, with new signings Jordan Allan and former Forfar man Jordan Kirkpatrick given licence to drive at the Raith defence; Kieran Moore moved across to right midfield, the position from which he had scored the winner for the Binos against Brechin City at the weekend – having said that, Raith continued to press, and notched a second with Tait’s glancing flick from Tumilty’s fine centre.

Kyle Banner’s header drifted over and Jack Leitch rasped a drive straight at MacDonald as Stirling sought to fashion a response – Raith’s second seemed to have put paid to any chance of Stirling’s more attacking players making an appearance from the bench: Byrne, Ryan, and Roberts would all likely be rested prior to the resumption of League business at the weekend. Mackin and Heaver each came close as the ball flew around the Raith area as the match passed the mark of fifteen minutes to go.

To their credit, Stirling continued to press – Kirkpatrick was visible on the left, pressing Musonda into a mistake in possession, and Mackin’s shot was ruled out for offside; Sean Heaver’s shot drifted just wide. In turn, Raith substitutes Lewis Vaughan and Dan Armstrong each had driving runs at the home defence, looking for a third which would put the tie beyond the hosts if any such doubts remained given Rovers’ two-goal advantage. Timmy Abraham was introduced for the closing minutes, and gave El Zubaidi and Meggatt cause for concern with two forays forward. Referee Newlands’ final whistle brought proceedings to a close, with Raith deservedly earning themselves a Third Round date with David Martindale’s Livingston.


0
Welcome to Forthbank, it's 9 degrees and a wee bit wet.
0
Quite a few changes from the Ayr game, John McGlynn freshening up the side.
1
Rovers kick off towards the car park end.
2
Rovers passing the ball on the deck, the pitch must be in good condition.
3
From a throw, Gullan hits the ball to the near post where Currie kneels to gather.
4
A great long pass from Tait finds Gullan whose shot is blocked
6
Rovers corner, play stops as Spencer handles in the box
6
MacDonald rises to grab a high ball in the 6 yard box
7
Rovers FK 30yards centre, Gullan hits a low ball into the Stirling wall
8
Moore chases a long ball but it's over hit
11
Kieran MacDonald sends Ugwu on a wild goose chase with an over hit ball up the left.
12
Lietch, long ball to Moore who is onside, but hits the ball over the bar from 6 yards.
14
Gullan side kicking a cross off a defender, corner, Kennedy crosses but Stirling break.
17
Stirling having a passing spell, trying to keep the Rovers off the ball.
19
Gullan to Kennedy who strikes from 20 yards straight to Currie
21
Stirling man down on the pitch
25
Spencer tries to put Gullan through but the pass is too strong.
25
Latest score. Stirling Albion 0-0 Raith Rovers
26
Wilson yellow for a trip from behind
30
Tait to Gullan turning and side foots the ball behind
32
Tait receiving a lecture
33
Kieran MacDonald cross in the box, ball falls to Kennedy who shoots just past the post.
35
Stirling throw on the right, Leitch turns and shoots to the top corner but MacDonald gathers.
35
Kennedy down on the pitch, limps off.
37
Kai back on
38
King side foots a low cross, Currie blocks with a foot.
41
Rovers corner, Tait in but out for a throw on the far dise.
42
Gullan gets a glancing head onto a cross but goes wide for a GK
44
Rovers corner, Tait crosses and Ugwu scores with a downwards header at the back post. GOAL ROVERS
45
+1 Half time Stirling Albion 0-1 Raith Rovers (Ugwu 44')
45
Stirling kick off the second half.
47
First corner of the half to Raith.
47
Tait to take it...
48
Too deep and out for a goal kick.
50
Cross just too high for King racing into the box.
51
Gullan pressure causes a blunder from the Stirling defender. He races through, but defender closes him down in time.
53
MacDonald sent down the left after a great run by Tait. MacDonald crosses low, but keeper just manages to parry away.
53
Corner Raith.
54
Short one taken, but final ball again too deep and ball goes out.
55
Wilson replaced by Kirkpatrick.
55
McGeachie replaced by Allan.
63
King with a great chance in the box. Shot blocked and spins towards Ugwu before ball cleared away.
64
Great save from Currie there!
65
Corner Raith.
65
Tait flights in a lovely outswinger. Headed just over the bar.
66
Free kick to Raith just outside the box. This could be danger time...
66
Kennedy with the attempt.
66
Over the wall, but straight into keeper’s arms.
68
Raith dominating the second half.
69
GOAL RAITH!!
69
King lays back to Tumilty, who sends in a peach and TAIT bullets in a header.
70
First corner of the game for Stirling.
72
Leitch tries a 28-yarder (I measured it!) and MacDonald has to move to hold on to it.
73
Vaughan replaces Ugwu.
75
Stirling 0-2 Raith.
75
Free kick Stirling, over by the far corner flag.
75
Wee chance here.
75
Shot drilled in and Raith happy to see the ball finally go out for a goal kick.
76
Moore off. Roberts on.
80
Armstrong on for Kennedy.
81
Half chance for Stirling. Ball trundles wide.
86
Gullan shown the yellow card.
87
Stirling free kick 30 yards out.
87
Cross well defended. Danger over.
89
Abraham on for the last few minutes.
90
+3 Stirling Albion 0 - 2 Raith Rovers (Ugwu 44' Tait 69')
92
Full time: Stirling Albion 0-2 Raith Rovers.
92
Comfortable win for the Rovers.
Raith Rovers
J MacDonald Tumilty Musonda Benedictus K MacDonald Spencer Tait Kennedy Ugwu King Gullan

Subs
Thomson Armstrong Hendry Duku Vaughan Abraham Matthews

Stirling Albion
Currie McGeachie El Zubaidi Meggat Banner Hamilton Heaver Wilson Mackin Leitch Moore

Subs
Binnie McGregor Allan Docherty K Roberts Kirkpatrick Byrne Ryan S Roberts

Photo’S © GRAHAM HAMILTON


RaithTV spoke to John McGlynn after the win in the Scottish Cup

Raith Rovers have another quick turnaround this week, with a Scottish Cup tie against Stirling Albion at Forthbank on Tuesday evening.

The tie was initially supposed to be played in January, but due to lockdown restrictions was put off until this week, with the two sides facing off for the first time since a fourth round Scottish Cup tie at the same venue back in 2014.

Rovers came out on top by two goals to nil on that occasion, with the strikes coming from Barrie McKay and Grant Anderson.

The two teams last shared a division back in the 2010/11 season, but while the Binos may be in the basement division at the moment, they go into this tie on a fine run of form, albeit a good run that straddles a shutdown.

Kevin Rutkiewicz’s side are now six games unbeaten, and go into this one on the back of a 1-0 win over Brechin City at the weekend, a victory that takes them up to second in the League Two table, just five points behind a high flying Queen’s Park team.

This second round tie must be played to a finish on Tuesday, with the winner travelling to Livingston in the third round.

Rovers have a good record in this fixture, with six wins and three defeats from the last 10 meetings.

Tuesday night’s match referee will be Alan Newlands.

Head-To-Head Cup Record Versus Stirling Albion:

Stirling Albion Wins: 4 | Raith Rovers Wins: 9 | Draws: 0

Stirling Albion Goals: 19 | Raith Rovers Goals: 35

Current Form:

Stirling Albion: W-D-W-W-W-W

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

Top Scorers:

Stirling Albion: Andy Ryan 6 | Declan Byrne 3 | Jack Leitch 3

Raith Rovers: Manny Duku 10 | Daniel Armstrong 4

Match Odds:

Stirling Albion: 7/2 | Raith Rovers: 4/6 | Draw: 31/10