Dundee Progress Despite Defeat
The curtain came down on Raith Rovers season this evening, and despite pushing Dundee all the way on the night, they were unable to overturn the 3-0 deficit from last week’s defeat at Stark’s Park.
Lewis Vaughan’s goal midway through the first period had given Rovers renewed hope, and they continued to threaten the Dens Park side throughout the match, but James McPake’s side managed the game out to get through 3-1 on aggregate.
Rovers manager John McGlynn made two changes from Wednesday’s 3-0 loss, with Iain Davidson being replaced by Fernandy Mendy, and Brad Spencer dropping to the bench for Gozie Ugwu.
Rovers were needing to get off on the front foot in this one, and they had the first attempt at goal in the fourth minute, when Jamie Gullan’s pass found Daniel Armrstong, and while his curling shot was on target, Adam Legzdins confidently gathered.
Rovers were trying to force the game, but from their own corner, they were under pressure in the seventh minute, when Cummings gathered the ball wide on the right, but after stepping inside and letting fly, his deflected effort was tipped wide by Jamie MacDonald.
It had been a fairly even opening period, but Dundee should have opened the scoring in the 14th minute.
Charlie Adam, unsurprisingly was the architect, when his set piece from deep was delivered into the area for Lee Ashcroft, but from six yards out, he could only scoop his effort well over the cross bar.
Rovers were making inwards down the left-hand side, and Gullan’s cross in the 19th minute was only just over everyone and out for a goal kick.
It had been an impressive start from Raith, and they got the lead their play deserved in the 21st minute.
An initial drive into the area was laid off bu Ugwu, and although Regan Hendry’s shot lacked impetus, it was picked up by Vaughan, who was able to control, swivel and fire into Legzdins net from 12 yards out to put Raith in front.
It was the ideal start for Rovers, and while it still left them with a mountain to climb, it possibly put an element of doubt into their opponents heads.
Rovers were playing far more direct than normal, with Jamie MacDonald kicking from hand rather than passing it out, possibly for the first time this season.
Dundee hadn’t really been in the game, and Jason Cummings attempt from distance, which he put well over the bar, was as much as they’d produced in an attacking sense.
However, Dundee should have been level in the 38th minute.
Paul McGowan did well down the left, and his ball inside found Max Anderson, and from 10 yards, his attempt was too close to MacDonald, who spead himself and kept it out.
Dundee were just starting to look a little stressed, and after Charlie Adam was booked after bringing down Armstrong, he was again admonished by referee Don Robertson in the 45th minute, after bringing down Armstrong, but Vaughan’s free kick was straight into the wall.
Rovers were needing to keep the same tempo going in the second period, and there were claims for a handball in the 54th minute, when Cammy Kerr stopped a short from close range with his fist, and Rovers kept the pressure on, when Armstrong beat two challenges before getting to the bye-line and hitting a cross straight at Legzdins.
Rovers then forced a couple of corners in quick succession, but as has so often been the case this season, their delivery failed to bring stretch the opponent’s defence.
Rovers were still fashioning chances, and Kieran MacDonald’s pull back in the 62nd minute found Armstrong just inside of the area, but his first time attempt was deflected wide.
Rovers were continuing to press, without really forcing the Dundee ‘keeper into service, and while the ball was being played into wide areas, they were failing to pick out Raith forwards with their deliveries.
John McGlynn brought on Manny Duku for Jamie Gullan with 15 minutes remaining, as Rovers started to go even longer in the closing stages.
Rovers were unable to test Legzdins in the Dundee goal however, and the home side perhaps hould have equalised in the final minute, when Osman Sow led the breakaway from the edge of his own area, but after advancing to the edge of Rovers penalty box, and with team mates in support, a fine challenge from Tumilty stopped him in his tracks.
It was the final action in a game where Raith had their moments, but despite having the upper hand, they lacked the cutting edge to make inroads into Dundee’s lead.
However, as much as Rovers continued to push for another goal, they were unable to test Legzdins, and Dundee were able to hold on for a 1-0 defeat.
RaithTV spoke to John McGlynn after the second leg of the play-off semi final:
Photographs courtesy of Dundee FC