With the announcement that John Frederiksen had finally signed for the Rovers the home crowd eagerly awaited the reading of the team sheet, and a big cheer went up as his name was read out, albeit on the bench.
The Rovers made a lively start to the game and were ahead with just 4 minutes on the clock.
A mistake by Sanders saw him over-hitting the ball as he played out of his own box, Aidan Connolly nipped in and, after a quick one two with Gullan he was in on the keeper who had no chance as the number 7 fired the ball low and hard into the net.
Rovers were in the mood for more and Ross Millen on the right sent a tantalising cross high into the box to the far corner of the six yard box where it was met by the inrushing Jamie Gullan and his diving header was blocked by the legs of Gourlay in the Cove goal.
There was no doubt Rovers had goals in mind with even the defenders spending more time in the visitors box than in their own, Ethan Ross sent a cross in and it was Kieran Ngwenya’s turn to try a diving header but, without a proper connection, it went inches past the post, and Connor O’Riordan had a couple of headed chances that weren’t far away, and a shot that was blocked.
Ngwenya was involved in the second goal as he headed the ball to Gullan on the left and the number 9 was fouled on the edge of the box. Jamie took the free-kick himself and the crowd were on their feet as he sent a screamer high into the top corner of the goal past the helpless Gourlay.
With very little coming from the visitors the half ended with just two goals but in reality the score-line should have been doubled.
The second half was much the same as the first, and apart from a ten minute spell when Cove created a couple of chances but nothing to really trouble Jamie MacDonald, Aidan Connolly on the right wing played the ball inside to Scott Brown who touched it on to Jamie Gullan, and as the striker tried to force his way into the box thru a ruck of players, the ball somehow fell to the feet of Sam Stanton and he made no mistake in sending a left foot shot past Gourlay from 10 yards.
With the points all but secured manager Ian Murray introduced new striker John Frederiksen who replaced Ethan Ross, and the 6 foot 8ins striker’s first involvement in the action was to head over his own bar but it could have been a dream debut for the big man when he found himself in on goal with just the goalie to beat, and although his shot was on target, Gourlay did enough to keep him out.
All in all a great day at the office for Rovers and we now look forward to seeing if they can keep it up in the next three games on the road.
MacDonald, Dick, Millen, Spencer, Connolly, Gullan, O’Riordan, Ngwenya, Stanton, Brown, Ross. Subs: Thomson, Matthews, McBride, Connell, Easton, Coulson, Masson, Frederiksen
Gourlay, Logan, Scully, Ross, Yule, Megginson, Gilmour, Longstaff, Sanders, Dunne, Johnston. Subs: McKenzie, Towler, Neill, McDonagh, McIntosh, Vigurs, Leitch, Reynolds
All the pictures from the 3-0 victory over Cove Rangers at Stark’s Park.
PHOTOS © TONY FIMISTER & JIM FOY
Ian Murray talked to RaithTV after this weekends victory v Cove Rangers FC:
Sam Stanton spoke with RaithTV after the 3-0 home victory over Cove Rangers FC:
Raith Rovers will face Cove Rangers for the third time this season on Saturday, but for the first time, Jim McIntyre’s side will be visiting Stark’s Park.
Indeed, this will be the first time the two sides have met at Stark’s Park at the sixth time of asking, with the rest either taking place at Cove or a neutral venue.
The two came together at the Balmoral Stadium just two weeks ago, in a third round SPFL Trust Trophy Match, with a Connor McBride goal enough for Rovers to enter the hat for the Fourth Round draw, where they were awarded a home fixture against Greenock Morton.
That win meant it was one apiece this season between the sides though, as Cove came out on top in the opening league game of the season, with a brace from Mitch Megginson meant all three points stayed in Aberdeen.
However, that was Cove’s only victory in the first seven league games, as they struggled to adapt to life in the second tier. However, two consecutive and impressive wins has lifted them out of the danger zone and up into sixth.
The first came against Arbroath last Saturday, when two goals from Connor Scully sealed a dominant 2-0 win, and Tuesday evening saw an even more impressive result, when they came from behind to beat Dundee 3-1, thanks to another brace from Scully, both overhead kicks, and another from Mitch Megginson sealing a fine result.
Rovers on the other hand went down by a single goal to nil away to Queen’s Park, and now eighth in the table, just two points above the relegation playoff place.
Saturday’s match referee will be David Dickinson.
Raith Rovers Wins: 2
Cove Rangers Wins: 3