Rovers bounce back to form at Somerset
Often a tough place to visit for Rovers but the team was keen to put last week’s defeat to bed, and return to winning ways. Scott Brown stepped into central defence with Keith Watson unavailable.
Ayr were first to threaten when a header from a corner flashed wide of Kevin Dabrowski’s goal. The home side continued their positive start and Jamie Murphy should have done better a few minutes later, but his shot cleared the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Rovers then started to get a foothold in the game with a neatly worked corner threatening the Ayr goal, followed by a Lewis Vaughan free kick which was tipped over the bar by Charlie Albinson in the home goal.
As the game swept from end-to-end, the first goal was becoming more and more critical – and it came Rovers’ way. Some very neat passing down the right eventually found Sam Stanton, he had the composure to look up and roll the ball into Dylan Easton, who caught it perfectly to beat Albinson in the bottom corner. Ayr 0-1 Rovers.
The same combination was to bear fruit for Rovers just a few minutes later. Stanton was released down the right and he timed the pass into Easton, who calmly slotted home. Ayr 0-2 Rovers.
Ayr had a golden opportunity to pull one back before half time but Ahkeem Rose pulled his shot wide of the post.
Half-time: Ayr Utd 0-2 Raith Rovers
Ayr came out in attacking mode in the second half and it paid off after just five minutes. A whipped cross from the left was met by Anton Dowds and his flick gave Dabrowski no chance. Ayr 1-2 Rovers.
The Rovers’ goal led a charmed life a few minutes later when a corner flashed across the face of goal but stayed out. Logan Chalmers was then brilliantly denied from close range by Dabrowski, who tipped over the bar.
With neither side able to take full control and only managing half-chances, Rovers battled out for a rare victory at Somerset Park. The three points returned to Kirkcaldy.
Full-time: Ayr Utd 1-2 Raith Rovers
by David Proudfoot
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the win at Ayr:
Dylan Easton spoke to RaithTV after the win at Ayr:
Raith Rovers will be looking to put last weekend’s first league defeat of the season behind them this Saturday, when they travel to Somerset Park, to face Lee Bullen’s Ayr United.
Despite Ayr United sitting six places behind Rovers in eight position, The Honest Men go into this match on the back of an excellent victory over Queen’s Park at Hampden last Friday, when they put in their most complete performance of the campaign, mustering up an impressive 5-2 victory.
Akheem Rose, Jamie Murphy and Anton Dowds all scored one apiece in the dominant display, but it was the performance of Logan Chalmers that caught the eye, with the recent acquisition from Dundee United putting in an excellent performance whilst bagging himself a brace.
Rovers 1-0 loss to Airdrie was the first time they’ve failed to register a goal or point this campaign, and with Dundee United notching up a last gasp winner up in Inverness, Rovers now trail United by a point at the summit of the table.
Oddly enough, failing to score is a recurring theme for Rovers in recent fixtures against Ayr, with Raith drawing a blank in five of the last six meetings.
Their only win in that time came just over a year ago, when goals from Kyle Connell, Sam Stanton and a late winner from Scott Brown sealed a thrilling 3-2 win at Stark’s Park.
You have to go back a further 12 months for Rovers last win at Somerset Park, when goals from Ethan Ross and Dario Zanatta earned Rovers a 2-0 win on the road, in a match where a late flurry of red cards saw the home side finish with nine players, and Raith with 10.
Saturday’s match referee will be David Munro.
Ayr United Wins: 56
Raith Rovers Wins: 58