Raith Rovers deny a great comeback from Ayr United
At a cloudy Starks Park 8th placed Raith Rovers were playing 1st placed Ayr United; Ayr were on a good run of 5 games unbeaten going into the game full of confidence.
Before the kick off there was a minute applause dedicated to the late Queen Elizabeth II which was received well by the attendance of 2045.
The home side started the game in an outstanding fashion, with an early goal coming in the 8th minute with Aidan Connolly cutting onto his left foot to slot a lovely ball into the feet of Kyle Connell, he then did a fantastic turn with his first touch and slotted the ball into the bottom corner to grab his first goal for the Rovers. Rovers 1-0 Ayr
Ayr grew back into the game with a few half chances one of which was a lovely freekick effort from Akinyemi crashing against the post, however the Rovers defended well.
Going on to counter-attack from an Ayr corner, the ball was played into the box and cleared to Dylan Easton, this led to a 3 v 3 with Ethan Ross to his left and Stanton to his right. Dylan chose the latter with a perfect pass to the man of the match Sam Stanton who in turn put the ball into the back of the net making it 2-0 to the Rovers in the 35th minute. Rovers 2-0 Ayr
Kyle Connell received a yellow card in the 38th minute with a slightly late challenge. Ryan Nolan also received a yellow card for a slightly late challenge in the last minute of the first half. The half ended with the Rovers 2-0 up.
The second half kicked off with Ayr scoring early in the 51st minute with a deflected cross finding Young at the back post for a tap-in . Rovers 2-1 Ayr.
Akinyemi earned himself a yellow card for a shirt pull in the 53rd minute.
The home team came under a lot of pressure after the goal therefore they didn’t have many chances to score, however they did create a couple of chances in a few seconds of one another, the first being a good effort from Easton saved and the second being an acrobatic effort from Connell going just over the cross bar.
The pressure from Ayr soon paid off with a back post volley from Murdoch hitting the back of the net in the 69th minute. Rovers 2-2 Ayr
Ethan Ross came off for McBride in the 79th minute.
The game began to get scrappy with neither team wanting to lose. Ayr’s equaliser scorer Murdoch earned himself a yellow card after a few fouls in quick succession.
The Rovers refused to only take 1 point, and in the 83rd minute Kyle Connell went on an amazing run getting past multiple Ayr defenders to play the ball to Scott Brown who smashed the ball against an Ayr defender, the ball came back to him and he volleyed the ball home to score his first goal for the club. Rovers 3-2 Ayr
Photos © TONY FIMISTER AND JIM FOY
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the win against Ayr United FC:
Connor McBride spoke to RaithTV after the win against Ayr United FC:
After the cancellations of last week’s fixtures as a mark of respect for the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Raith Rovers return to action this weekend, with a home fixture against table toppers Ayr United.
After a disappointing League Cup group section, the Honest Men have made an excellent start to their league campaign, unbeaten after half a dozen fixtures, winning four in the process.
That sequence sees them as the early pace setters in the second tier, leading the way with 14 points, one clear of second placed Partick Thistle.
Last time out, Lee Bullen’s men recorded an away win at Greenock, with goals from in-form, Dipo Akinyemi and Mark McKenzie sealing all three points with a hard fought 2-1 win.
Rovers on the other hand went down to a home defeat to Inverness, after a disappointing second period saw goals from Scott Allardice and Billy McKay allowed the Caley Jags to win 2-0 and leapfrog Raith in the table in the process.
The spoils were shared between Ayr and Rovers last term, with two wins apiece, although the last time the two sides met, Rovers put in one of the poorest displays of the season, losing out by four goals to nil at Stark’s Park in March.
Saturday’s match referee will be Greg Aitken.
Raith Rovers wins: 57
Ayr United Wins: 50