Rovers progress in the Scottish Cup
Rovers travelled to Linlithgow for the rearranged Scottish Cup 4th round tie on Tuesday night. And they certainly didn’t take it lightly (considering recent ‘cup-shocks’) fielding a very strong starting line-up, as well as the healthiest set of substitutes Rovers fans had seen in a while.
Credit to the ground staff at the Prestonfield Stadium – who had clearly worked hard to get the pitch in the best condition as possible, despite the recent cold-snap.
Rovers were first to really threaten with Dylan Easton charging into the box, but his penalty protests were rightly waved away by referee, Graham Grainger (however, it wasn’t going to be his last involvement in moments of controversy).
Next up it was the hosts: a long ball eluded Rovers’ defence but Rose’s Mark Stowe snatched the chance wide.
The half, without too much quality, saw some half-chances fall for each team. Lewis Vaughan’s cross had a bit too much pace on it for Aidan Connolly to reach, before Stowe went down in the box under an Easton challenge – but it would have been as equally harsh as Rovers’ claim earlier in the game.
A stalemate of a first half.
Half-time: Linlithgow Rose 0-0 Raith Rovers
Rovers started up a gear second-half and should’ve took the lead. A through ball was flicked on by Lewis Vaughan, and although Jamie Gullan was offside at the time, Alexander Webb’s attempted headed clearance put him back onside (2nd phase), and Gullan nicely lifted over Rose’s on rushing keeper, Cameron Binnie. Confusion throughout the stadium as the goal was not awarded, then it was awarded, then finally not awarded. Still Rose 0-0 Rovers.
Rovers, however, finally did take advantage of their counter-attacking threat. Connolly slipped the ball through to Gullan who took the ball round the keeper and slotted home. 55 minutes in and it was Rose 0-1 Rovers.
Rovers were starting to take advantage of the extra bit of quality with a few balls in flashing across the face of goal, and a left-footed shot from Scott Brown well-saved, before Gullan hit the post.
Gullan should have killed the game off when he got in behind Webb again, but Binnie turned his low finish round the post. He wasn’t to be denied, though: another break through the home defensive line saw Gullan slot a right-footed shot past the keeper, and guarantee Rovers’ place in the next round. Rose 0-2 Rovers.
Over-the-piece, Rovers deservedly progressed to the 5th round, setting up a now much-anticipated home-tie to Premiership side, Motherwell.
Full Time: Linlithgow Rose 0-2 Raith Rovers
by David Proudfoot
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after tonight’s win
After the disappointment of conceding a last minute equaliser at the Balmoral Stadium against Cove Rangers in our most recent match, Raith Rovers are in Scottish Cup action next, when they travel to Prestonfield to face Linlithgow Rose.
The Gallant Rosey Posey are in sterling form this season, leading the East of Scotland League by 15 points, after winning 15 and drawing two of their 18 league games, scoring 66 goals in the process.
Gordon Herd’s side reached this stage of the competition by defeating Sauchie Juniors by a single goal in the Third Round, after disposing of Lowland League sides Berwick and Spartans in the previous two rounds, with the 4-0 win over the Edinburgh side a particular eye-catching result.
This will be the second time that the two sides have met in this competition, with the last encounter taking place in the Third Round in 2014.
Rovers edged through after a hard fought 2-0 win, thanks to goals from Ryan Conroy and Paul Watson, but Rovers were made to fight all the way, with David McGurn the busier of the two keepers in the 90 minutes.
Two years later, Linlithgow became the first junior side to reach the last 16 of the Scottish Cup, going down to Ross County 4-2.
Whoever comes out on top will find out their opponents in the next round on Sunday evening, with the draw for the Fifth Round taking place at 6pm.
The match referee will be Graham Grainger.