Raith Rovers v Greenock Morton
The match between the two sides started very fast with Morton having the best chance of the entire game, and within a minute the ball was played low across the 6-yard box and blazed high over the bar.
After that early chance the Rovers gained some control, and thinking they were 1-0 up in the 15th minute, however the goal was disallowed after Tom Lang was deemed to have used a hand to stab the ball past the keeper after a beautiful freekick delivery by Gullan.
However, Raith soon did go 1-0 up in the 17th minute due to a corner played in perfectly by Gullan, which was turned into a disaster class by Morton’s goalkeeper Schwake after he punched the ball into his own net. Rovers defender Tom Lang put the pressure on the Morton goalie, making it more difficult for the keeper to deal with. Raith 1-0 Morton.
Raith soon doubled the lead in the 20th minute after Tom Lang played a good long pass which caused a mistake by the Morton defence, and Rovers top scorer Aidan Connolly side footed a volley into the far corner. Raith 2-0 Morton.
Unfortunately – from a Raith point of view – the 2 goal lead didn’t last long as Morton scored after a good corner was well defended on the front post. The d anger wasn’t cleared, however, and Morton won the second ball and Baird cut the deficit with his header. Raith 2-1 Morton.
Raith tried to wrestle back control of the game but never created many chances after the first Morton goal – one of the best chances came from a freekick from distance by Gullan that was well saved by the Morton keeper, the other was a right footed effort at goal at the back post by Ngwenya.
Sadly for Raith, all the hard work from the first half was undone just before half time and in the 43rd minute the ball was played into the box to be tapped in on the line by Muirhead to equalise. Raith 2-2 Morton HT.
Morton started the second half by far the better team, creating multiple chances early and it looked like it was only a matter of time before they scored but the home side stayed strong and never let the pressure result in a goal.
Midway through the second half Raith managed to assert dominance again with a few decent efforts on goal; the best being a left footed strike from Brad Spencer that was well saved by Morton’s keeper but neither side were able to score a winning 3rd goal. Full Time Raith 2-2 Morton.
Pictures © Tony Fimister & Jim Foy
AUDIO ONLY. Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the 2-2 draw at Stark’s Park:
Raith Rovers go into their final home game of the year this Friday night, with Morton the visitors, as Rovers look to close the gap between themselves and the Greenock side who sit fourth.
Rovers draw with Arbroath at the weekend saw the gap reduced to six points, albeit Morton’s home game with Queen’s Park was postponed, after it failed to beat the big freeze.
Rovers will also be hoping to spoil an anniversary, as Dougie Imrie celebrates one year in charge of the Greenock side this week.
Under his tenure, Morton have evolved from a side struggling to stay in the division, to one of the pack looking to get promoted to the Premiership.
This will be the fourth time the clubs have met this season, and the other matches could barely have been closer.
Liam Dick and Aidan Connolly handed Rovers a two goal lead in the first meeting in August, although a Cameron Blues goal in the 80th minute ensured a nervy end to the game.
A Grant Gillespie penalty deep into stoppage time was all that separated the sides in October, while Lewis Vaughan’s equaliser in the Challenge Cup earlier this month, meant the tie went to penalties, which Rovers managed to prevail in.
Friday night’s referee will be Matthew MacDermid.
Raith Rovers Wins: 57
Morton Wins: 66