Rovers maintain 100% record over Accies
On a crisp winter’s afternoon in Hamilton, the first game of the New Year was fittingly opened with a minute’s tribute to the late great Pele.
Once proceedings got underway Rovers started the sharper and took an early lead inside ten minutes. A move which started from left back saw Rovers make a sweeping passing move across the pitch in which Brad Spencer found Ross Millen wide right. Millen’s deep cross was met at the back post by Jamie Gullan who nicely guided the ball into the net. Hamilton 0-1 Rovers
Although Rovers edged the opening spell, two shots from just outside the box, which went over Jamie MacDonald’s goal, showed Hamilton were starting to grow into the game.
Neither side made any clear-cut chances and Rovers went in a goal to the good at the break.
Half-time: Hamilton 0-1 Raith Rovers
Rovers came out the second half on the front foot, and had a couple of penalty claims turned down – although the consensus was they would have been soft.
As the half progressed, again it was the hosts that started to look the more dangerous as Rovers dropped into a more solid defensive and counter-attacking formation. A nicely worked move from Hamilton worked the ball into Rovers’ box, but Andy Winter lacked composure and slashed the ball wide. Next up was Hamilton’s best chance: another nice cross from the left forced MacDonald into a very sharp save down to his right.
Rovers had the chance to kill the game off in the 84thminute after being awarded a penalty. Aidan Connolly stepped up but Hamilton keeper Ryan Fulton was equal to it, diving low to his left to save.
As the game bounced from end-to-end there were two late half-chances: Reegan Mimnaugh shot wide for the hosts two minutes from time, then Connolly had a shot tipped over by Fulton a minute later.
Rovers’ strong looking backline, led by Tom Lang (Man of the Match), held out to take all three points.
Full Time: Hamilton 0-1 Raith Rovers
By David Proudfoot
Subs: Smith, B Easton, Winter, E Brown, McGinn, One, Newbury, Latona, Morgan
Raith: MacDonald, Dick, Millen, Spencer, Connolly, Gullan, Vaughan, Lang, Ngwenya, S Brown, D Easton
Subs: McNeil, Nolan, McBride, Connell, Young, Masson, Fredrikson
Match Photos supplied courtesy of Cameron at “Capture Through The Lens”:
The full gallery can be viewed online HERE
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after today’s win:
Raith Rovers will be playing the role of first footers this new year, when they travel to The ZLX Stadium to take on Hamilton Accies.
John Rankin’s men currently sit bottom of the Championship, and are without a win in the Championship since October 18th, when they won away to Inverness.
A run of seven league games without a win sees the Lanarkshire side three points behind Arbroath and 10 points behind Cove Rangers who are eighth.
They go into this one on the back of a 2-0 loss to the Aberdeen side, when two goals in the closing stages from Leighton McIntosh sealed all three points for Jim McIntyre’s side.
Rovers winless run stretches back to the start of November, and their last victory was against the side they face on Monday, when goals from Dylan Easton, Aidan Connolly and Liam Dick secured a 3-1 win.
That was the sides second meeting of the season, with the first coming in August, with Raith also winning by a two goal margin, with efforts from Easton and Jamie Gullan enough to secure a 2-0 win.
Those brace of victories for Rovers make it seven unbeaten for Raith against the Accies, with Rovers last defeat coming back in March 2014, when a last second goal from Jason Scotland sealed a dramatic 3-2 win for Academical.
Monday’s match referee will be Lloyd Wilson.
Hamilton wins: 60
Raith Rovers wins: 62