Team Pd GD Pt
1 Inverness CT 16 8 31
2 Raith Rovers 16 10 30
3 Kilmarnock 16 10 29
4 Partick Thistle 16 15 28
5 Arbroath 16 13 28
6 Hamilton Academical 16 -15 16
7 Ayr United 16 -13 14
8 Greenock Morton 16 -8 13
9 Dunfermline 16 -10 13
10 Queen of the South 16 -10 13
Updated: 4th Dec
Saturday November 20th 2021

Raith Rovers 2 – 1 Greenock Morton

Raith Win Closes Gap At The Top

Raith Rovers moved level on points with Kilmarnock at the top of the Championship this afternoon, after coming from behind to defeat Morton 2-1 at Stark’s Park. 

Michael Ledger’s 5th minute goal had given the visitors the early advantage, but an excellently crafted strike finished off by Aidan Connolly had Rovers level by the interval, before Ethan Ross made the points safe with a second half winner. 

John McGlynn went with the same starting eleven which won 3-0 away to Hamilton last time out. 

Despite going off at half time in that one, Brad Spencer was fit enough to start, while Frankie Musonda continued to fill the left back berth, with Liam Dick returning from injury, but having to make do with a place on the bench. 

The visitors made a very bright start to this one, with Gozie Ugwu breaking forward right from kick off, evading a couple of challenges and unleashing a shot from 30 yards that wrong footed Jamie MacDonald through a deflection, before spinning wide, in what could have been the quickest goal scored, well, ever. 

Ugwu was proving a handful, and after he again caused consternation in the Rovers defence, he was brought down 25-yards from goal, for a free-kick which was deflected over the bar. 

However, there was only a brief reprieve, when Rovers failed to clear Jaako Oskanen’s corner kick, and Ledger forced the ball into the net from a narrow angle, to shock the home side with the opening goal after five minutes. 

The goal rocked Rovers on their heels, and while they started to grow in composure and gain some possession, there was little of it taking place within Morton’s defensive third. 

McGlynn’s men were making life a little difficult for themselves, and when the ball was given away to Gavin Reilly, the visitors suddenly had a two on two, but his through ball to Ugwu was far too heavy, and the chance was lost. 

Rovers were starting to force a number of corners, but whether they were taken short or direct into the area, the result was the same, with Gus MacPherson’s team managing to clear. 

Ton keeper, Jack Hamilton was forced into action in the 23rd minute, when he had to be alert to tip over a long distance effort from Connolly, as the home side just started to quicken their tempo and swing the momentum a little more towards the Morton goal. 

That momentum continued and Rovers were level by the half hour mark, with a brilliantly well worked goal. 

Brad Spencer was heavily involved, taking the ball into feet not once but twice in a move which must have contained around a dozen passes, before Ethan Ross was able to cut the ball back perfectly for Connolly, who slotted past Hamilton to bring the scores level. 

Rovers had been the better team since Morton had taken the lead, but with impetus to come back out, the visitors had a good chance with 10 minutes of the half remaining, when Reilly looked like he’d gotten behind the Rovers backline, but Berra just managed to get ahead of him, and block his drive from the edge of the area. 

The game was now back and forth, and Dylan Tait’s cross into the area caused some difficulty for the Morton defence, but despite struggling to clear their lines, it wouldn’t quite break for anyone in a home jersey. 

It was one of the last moments of action in a first half where Raith had started slowly, but then been on top for the bulk of the 45, albeit Reilly and Ugwu were proving a handful at the other end. 

Despite the vast majority of the first five minutes of the second period taking place in the Morton half, Rovers were almost undone by a move that could barely be more back to front. 

A huge clearance upfield saw Reilly break away from the Raith defence, but just like in the first half, Berra did well to get back in and deflect his attempt at goal away from danger. 

However, Rovers almost took the lead in the 55th minute. 

Musonda’s shot from 25 yards ricocheted wide to Reghan Tumilty, whose brilliant low back post cross looked like it was being steered home by Connolly, only for Hamilton to deny him with an excellent goal-line stop. 

Rovers now had the upper hand, but Morton were defending well, and while the home side were enjoying plenty of possession, the Cappielow side were restricting their space in their defensive third. 

Rovers then went close not just once but twice in the 65th minute, with Dario Zanatta involved in both. 

Firstly, his deep corner was nodded goalwards by Berra, but a defender was well placed to clear off the line, and after gathering back at the corner flag, the winger cut inside and unleashed a drive which Hamilton did well to keep out. 

Raith’s pressure eventually paid off though, when they took the lead two minutes later, with another excellent finish. 

Ross was just in line with the last Morton defender as he ran onto a through ball, and while Jack Hamilton had enjoyed a fine afternoon, he could do nothing about Ross’ exquisite curling finish to make the score 2-1. 

Morton’s afternoon, which had started so well, then lurched from bad to to worse, when Alan Lithgow was shown his second yellow card, meaning the visitors were now forced to play the final 20 minutes with just 10 men. 

Rovers made their first change in the 78th minute, when Ross Matthews came on for the departing Ross. 

Rovers almost put the game to bed with five minutes remaining, when Zanatta’s corner was met well by Berra, but his downward header bounced just wide of the target. 

With Kilmarnock losing to Arbroath, one more goal would have put Rovers top, and they almost had it in the final minute, when Poplatnik was put through, but his effort was too close to Hamilton who smothered well. 

Referee, Steven Kirkland then blew for a full time, and with results elsewhere, Rovers are now behind leaders Killie by just a single goal, although it could barely be any tighter in the top half, with just two points separating the top five teams in a sensationally competitive second tier. 

Rovers will put league business on hold for a week, when they travel to League One side Falkirk next Saturday for a Scottish Cup third round tie.


0
Welcome to today's game Raith v Morton. No change to the Raith team from last week however Dick returns to the bench
0
After a false start, Morton get the game underway
0
And it's a corner already to Morton
0
Tait headers away
2
Raith defence passing Bath and forth along the back line..play ends with Lang making a long ball pass to Varian but it doesn't reach him
3
From a Morton free kick approx 23 yards out, the ball takes a deflection off the Raith wall, Morton corner
3
Goal Morton
6
Tumilty drives forward, crosses the ball into the Morton box but Varian can't convert. Hamilton for Morton collects
7
Spencer with a great ball to Tumilty but unfortunately he is challenged
10
Free kick Raith after Varian is fouled in the Raith half
12
Raith again passing back and forth looking for a way to break apart Morton
13
Lang again with a timely tackle as Morton try to drive through the middle
15
From another Morton corner ball is only cleared as far as the outside of the box. Morton thump it back in but it deflects and out for a Morton throw in
16
From a Raith free kick Connolly plants the ball into the Morton box however they head clear
18
Spencer with the long ball upfield to Tumilty but it's too much for him
20
Raith's first corner of the afternoon
21
Short ball from Zanatta to Connolly who plays it back to Zanatta who lifts the ball to head near the back post but it's out for a goal kick
22
Another corner to Raith
22
Zanatta gets the ball to the far side of the Morton box and Morton head out for another Raith corner
23
Connolly comes close from just outside the box he fires the ball in forcing Hamilton for Morton to tip over the bar
24
From the corner Connolly with the shirt ball to Tait but he is heavily marked
27
Ross forces Morton to give a Raith corner
28
Zanatta from the corner gets the ball to the far side of the Morton box, to no-one
30
GGOOOAAALLL RAITH
30
Ross gets the ball into the box, passes low across the box and CONNOLLY is there to slot Raith's first goal of the afternoon
31
Moeton free kick approx 30 yards out and Ross is booked in the process
31
From the free kick Morton thump the ball and Connolly jumps and blocks. Falls to Morton again but their effort this time is skied
33
Varian wins the ball but is then challenged when trying to get the ball back under control
34
Tait does well to shield the ballnout for a goal kick after a Morton throw in
35
Berra with a timely block as Morton charge forward
37
Tumilty tries for a shot but it's not troubling Hamilton for Morton
38
Ross gets the ball into the Morton box but is fairly challenged
39
Tait gets the ball into the Morton box. It's pinged about a bit and play ends with a goal kick
41
Freekick Raith after Spencer is fouled
41
Musonda with the block as McGratton goes for a shot
42
Free kick Raith deep in Morton half
42
Zanatta takes it and absolutely skies it
45
Zanatta takes the ball for a run, drives up field crosses to Connolly but it's too much for the latter to connect
45
+1 ref blows blows half time Raith 1 (Connolly 30') Morton 1 (Ledger 3'). Raith a bit sleepy first half and been under the cosh on occasions
45
Rovers start the second half. Shooting into the South Stand goal.
48
Raith with the early pressure, but no chances to type about.
49
Corner Morton. Raith defence looking for the offside there. Did well to usher out for the corner.
50
Ugwu goes down on edge of box. Ref having none of it.
54
What a save! Hamilton stops a certain Rovers goal.
55
Couple of Morton high balls causing concern in the second half. Lang does well to clear the danger.
58
Good work from Tumilty. Corner Raith.
62
Corner Morton
63
Zanatta wins a Raith corner.
63
Berra with the header… cleared off the line!
64
Zanatta booked for a challenge on halfway line.
66
Raith 1-1 Morton
66
GOAL RAITH!
66
ROSS sent through, races into the box and curls an absolute beauty into the top corner.
70
Lithgow sent off for a second yellow. Morton down to 10 men.
73
Allan replaced by King (Morton)
75
Raith 2-1 Morton
77
Ross replaced by Matthews
83
Patient Rovers build up. Ends up with a corner. Nice.
84
Berra with the downward header. Ball bounces past the post.
85
Jacobs replaced by Lyon (Morton)
87
Corner Raith
87
Poplatnik on for Zanatta
88
McGrattan replaced by Oliver
89
Poplatnik unmarked 20 yards out. Drills straight at keeper.
90
Oksanen shown the yellow.
91
MacDonald does well to hold onto the ball. That was a chance.
93
Full time: Raith Rovers 2-1 Morton
Raith: MacDonald, Tumilty, Musonda, Berra, Connolly, Zanatta, Lang, Spencer, Tait, Varian, Ross

Subs: Thomson, Dick, Benedictus, Matthews, Riley-Snow, Mitchell, Poplatnik

Morton: Hamilton, Ledger, Strapp, McEntee, Jacobs, Ugwu, Reilly, McGratten, Oksanen, Allan, Lithgow

Subs: Oliver, Blues, Hynes, Lyon, Easdale, Russell, King

Photographs © Tony Fimister

RaithTV talked to John McGlynn after todays 2 – 1 win in the cinch SPFL Championship win v Morton

Raith Rovers will be looking to make it 11 games unbeaten this weekend, when they welcome Morton to Stark’s Park.

Rovers went clear in second place at the weekend, after a 3-0 win over Hamilton Accies, which kept them three points behind Kilmarnock, while lifting them a point clear of Inverness, and two clear of Partick Thistle and Arbroath.

Rovers had a clean sweep against Morton last term, with three wins out of three, and they managed to come out on top again in the solitary meeting this term, when Dario Zanatta’s goal was enough for all three points at Cappielow in September.

Morton go into this one on the back of one defeat in five games, with last weekend’s loss to Kilmarnock, their only loss since playing Inverness in October.

There’s generally a winner in this game, with the last 13 games producing a winner, with the last draw coming back in January 2014 with a 0-0 draw.

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

Saturday’s match referee will be Steven Kirkland.

Head-To-Head home league record versus Morton:

Raith Rovers Wins: 33 | Morton Wins: 16 | Draws: 16

Raith Rovers Goals: 111 | Morton Goals: 67

Current Form:

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

Top scorers:

Raith Rovers: Dario Zanatta 8 | Aidan Connolly 4

Morton: Gary Oliver 4 | Gozie Ugwu 2

Match Odds:

Raith Rovers: 4/6 | Morton: 15/4 | Draw: 5/2