Rovers’ unbeaten run continues with draw against leaders
Rovers’ fixture against Queen’s Park (at Ochilview) had to be moved to the Friday night due to Stenhousemuir having a game the next day. A good number of Rovers’ fans made the journey, with the success in the cup still fresh in the minds.
Rovers made an enforced change seeing Esmaël Gonçalves making his first start in place of the injured Jamie Gullan.
It was Rovers that had the first real effort about ten minutes in: a good run and shot from Scott Brown but it was straight down the neck of Queen’s keeper Calum Ferrie. Queen’s were next to threaten after nice interplay down the right saw Dom Thomas put a cross-come shot just wide of Jamie McDonald’s right post.
The game ebbed and flowed with neither side really taking the initiative. Gonçalves saw his shot from the edge of the box saved by Ferrie; followed by a quick throw down the right which put the same player in again, but his left-footed shot was another straightforward stop. Rovers now starting to look the slightly more dangerous and another positive forward run from Brown, opened up space for Liam Dick and Dylan Easton, but the latter’s shot was tame, and the game remained goalless. Brown spurned probably Rovers’ best chance when his half-volley from just inside the box looked bound for the top corner, but flashed wide.
Half-time: Queen’s Park 0-0 Raith Rovers
Queen’s took the lead early in the second half. Jack Thomson lifted the ball into the box and Motherwell loanee, Connor Shields, took the ball down nicely, turned Tom Lang, before slotting home with his left foot. Queen’s 1-0 Rovers.
If there is one thing Rovers have shown in recent times it’s been resilience, and Easton was denied at the back post with a last ditch block. But Rovers did find a deserved equaliser. Aidan Connolly’s short corner to Easton saw him clip it towards the box, Ryan Nolan got to the ball first before he was brought down by Jake Davidson. Ref pointed to the spot with Queen’s players claiming it was just outside. Sub William Akio stepped up and although his penalty was weak, he was quick to pounce and convert the rebound. He then followed it with a spectacular acrobatic celebration.
The game played out and ended 1-1, with a draw probably being a fair result.
Full-time: Queen’s Park 1-1 Raith Rovers
by David Proudfoot
Subs: Longridge, Henderson, McPake, Bruce, Biggar, Healy, Reid, Eze, Heraghty
Raith: MacDonald, Dick, Millen, Nolan, Spencer, Connolly, Lang, Stanton, Brown (c), Easton, Goncalves
Subs: Thomson, McBride, Ngwenya, Akio, McGill, Young, Masson
© EDDIE DOIG
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after tonight’s draw with Queen’s Park FC:
After three wins in a week, Raith Rovers schedule shows little sign of slowing down, as they head to Ochilview this Friday evening to face league leaders Queen’s Park.
Rovers head into this one in fine fettle, unbeaten in 12 matches, and on the back of arguably their best performance of the season, a resounding 3-1 win over Motherwell in the Scottish Cup.
The Spiders on the other hand are in more mixed form, with two wins, a draw and three defeats in their last six matches, and even one of those wins, a victory over Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup was overturned, due to fielding an illegible player.
The first game in that sequence was against Raith in the second week of January, with John Frederiksen grabbing his only goal for Rovers during his short stay in a 1-0 away win.
It’s been a different story in the league however, with Owen Coyle’s men taking full points from the two games so far.
Stephen Eze grabbed the only goal of the game at the start of October, as Queen’s ran out 1-0 winners, but there were far more goals when the two met at Stark’s Park in November, although far more of them went to the visitors.
Aidan Connolly scored both the opening and final goal of proceedings, but in-between, braces from Simon Murray, Dom Thomas and a solitary strike from Jack Thomson saw Queen’s Park eventually emerge 5-2 winners.
Queen’s Park have had some notable ins and outs in the January window, with right back, Marcel Oakley, who impressed in the first half of the campaign with Arbroath, joining on loan from Birmingham, while forwards, Euan Henderson and Connor Shields have joined in temporary moves from Hearts and Motherwell respectively.
However, they’ll have some big boots to fill, with Simon Murray, who scored 18 goals and set up another nine for the Ochilview lodgers, joining Ross County at the end of the window.
Friday’s match referee will be Craig Napier.
Queen’s Park wins: 35
Raith Rovers wins: 50