Rovers’ fine form in the SPFL Trust Trophy continues
As the most successful team in the SPFL Trust Trophy over the past few seasons, and this game a rematch of last year’s final, the tie away to Hamilton was always going to be one to look forward to – and it didn’t disappoint.
Rovers’ fans were happy to see Jack Hamilton and Jamie Gullan return from injury, to lead the line up front, and Adam Masson stepped in central defence in competition he’s already impressed in. Former Rover Dylan Tait also lined up for Hamilton to face his old club.
It didn’t take Rovers long to stamp their authority on the match. A nice passing move saw Ross Millen cross from the right, and after a bit of pinball in the box it fell to Sam Stanton who carefully stroked the ball into the bottom corner. Hamilton 0-1 Rovers.
As the half progressed neither team really took control and although both teams had half-chances, they never really looked like scoring.
Half-time: Hamilton 0-1 Raith Rovers
The second half was to be a completely different affair to the first. The first major piece of action was a red card for Accies Lee Kilday. His high challenge on Gullan was adjudged to be dangerous play and he was ordered off without any complaints on 54mins.
Rovers made the man difference count almost immediately. Just 5mins later, Aidan Connolly crossed from the right, and after a bit of goalmouth scramble, Jack Hamilton was there to put it over the line. Hamilton 0-2 Rovers.
And the returnee striker wasn’t finished there – and this one wasn’t a scrappy one in the goalmouth. Hamilton picked the ball up on the edge of the box and curled an unstoppable shot into the top corner. Hamilton 0-3 Rovers.
The home side briefly gave their support some hope when ex-Rover Dario Zanatta curled a lovely left foot shot into the top corner – almost mirroring Jack Hamilton’s effort for Rovers. Hamilton 1-3 Rovers.
Any hope the home fans had of a comeback were dashed, however, when Dylan Easton went straight at the heart of the Accies’ defence before finding the bottom corner with his shot. Hamilton 1-4 Rovers.
Another fine result for Rovers in this competition, and will now face Airdrie in the semi-final.
Full-time: Hamilton 1-4 Raith Rovers
by David Proudfoot
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the 1-4 win in the SPFL Trust Trophy
Raith Rovers and Hamilton Academical face off against each other for the 160th time on Friday evening, when Rovers travel to New Douglas Park for an SPFL Trust quarter-final tie.
Both teams go into this one on the back of wins last weekend, with John Rankin’s men posting an impressive 5-0 win over Stirling Albion, which kept them three points behind leaders Falkirk in League One.
Rovers on the other hand had that sensational win at Hampden, coming back from 2-1 down against Queen’s Park with a minute to go, to register a 3-2 win at the death, thanks to Ross Millen’s dramatic injury time penalty.
Both teams have been in fine form this season in their respective divisions, and like Rovers, Hamilton have lost just one league match, going down 1-0 to Cove Rangers two weeks ago.
The two sides met five times last season, with Raith coming out on top of three of them, compared to Hamilton’s two, but it was the match in the final of this competition back in March that was the most notable of the quintet.
Reghan Tumilty gave the Lanarkshire side a first half lead, and despite Daniel O’Reilly’s dismissal in the 55th minute reducing Accies to 10 men, and incessant Raith pressure for much of the second period, a fine performance from Hamilton goalkeeper, Ryan Fulton ensured the trophy would be lifted by Hamilton for the first time in 30 years.
Despite that setback, Rovers do have a good record in this fixture recently, with six wins and two draws from the last 10 meetings.
Friday evening’s match referee will be Iain Snedden
Hamilton Accies wins: 62
Raith Rovers wins: 63