Rovers couldn’t build on last week’s victory over Queen of the South after Rovers fell to a late 3-2 defeat to Play-Off rivals Inverness Caley Thistle.
Goals from Aidan Connolly and Matej Poplatnik looked to see the Rovers home and hosed but for two late Logan Chalmers strikes that flipped the game on its head in the cusp of and deep into injury time to leave John McGlynn’s side three points adrift of the Premiership Playoffs.
On a sun kissed Kirkcaldy afternoon, Aidan Connolly put his side ahead just shy of a quarter of an hour in to lift the spirits of the home crowd. Ben Williamson’s corner from the right hand side found Frankie Musonda at the back post who’s header back across goal was half cleared by McAlear out to Connolly on the edge of the box. The winger tried his luck with an audacious effort from 20-yards with a volley that bounced in front of Caley goalie Cameron MacKay. The ‘keeper let the ball sneak under him and squirm into the bottom right hand corner.
Caley were back on level terms midway through the opening half after Jamie MacDonald was forced off with an injury.
Aaron Doran’s cross from the left was curled into the far post and caught out sub keeper Robbie Thomson who was left flat footed under the ball, allowing the set piece to cannon off the leg of Matej Poplatnik and into the path of Shane Sutherland who had the simple task of tapping home from a few yards out.
Rovers weren’t pegged back for long as Matej Poplatnik made amends, scoring his second goal in as many games to put Rovers back in front with half an hour played. A ball over the top of the Caley backline from Frankie Musonda was matched by the Slovenian who raced in behind Danny Devine and he made no mistake in touching the ball into his stride and striking the ball across the face of goal and into the bottom left corner.
Tempers frayed in the second half as Rovers looked to kill the game off. Kyle Benedictus stepped out of defence, moving into the Caley half, taking the ball past two players before running himself into trouble and lunging into a 50/50 with Kirk Broadfoot, sparking a brawl midway in the opposition half. Referee Colin Steven brandished a red-card to the Rovers skipper despite the visiting captain raising his hands first.
Benedictus’ dismissal seemed to spur the visitors into life in the closing stages and Rover succumbed to the pressure as two Logan Chalmers strikes flipped the game on its head.
A Caley corner from the right was flicked away by Ben Williamson out to Chalmers on the left hand side, who chested the ball down and sent a dipping, deflected effort into the top right corner over Robbie Thomson with a minute of regulation time left to play.
Chalmers would be the hero with 92 minutes played to break Rovers hearts – some good play down the right saw Tom Walsh come away with the ball and drift into the middle of the park, nudging the ball to Sean Welsh who sprayed the ball out to the left to Chalmers who was stood up by Tumilty and Musonda. The Caley Thistle winger touched the ball to find an angle and fired a ferocious left footed shot into the bottom right corner from 18-yards.
Photographs © Tony Fimister and Jim Foy.
Photographs © Tony Fimister, Jim Foy, Cameron Goodsir-Maguire
John McGlynn spoke to RaithTV after today’s match: