Goalkeeper turned Goalscorer
Raith started in usual fashion with a fast start and high intensity. Raith had the first real big chance of the match when Smith ran through 1 on 1 against Gaston but the shot was too soft and was easily saved.
Raith quickly created another fantastic opportunity when Smith cut the ball back to Connolly, but his shot went wide.
Arbroath then managed to also create a great chance with a McIntosh header that was well saved by Dabrowski.
Raith finally broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute when Vaughan slipped the ball through to Dylan Easton – he then proceeded to expertly find the back of the net, drilling the ball low and hard across goal into the far bottom corner. GOAL RAITH 1-0!
Raith looked to double the lead before half time when Easton nutmegged the right back, ran into the box in a wide position and found Smith with a cut back. Smith couldn’t get his shot away, so he laid the ball off to Vaughan and his effort just missed the target.
Half Time: Raith 1 – 0 Arbroath
12 minutes into the 2nd half Arbroath’s sub goalkeeper Ali Adams had to come on as an outfield player as they had no outfield subs left and Aaron Steele was injured.
It only took until the 61st minute for Raith to double the lead when Connolly’s left footed cross found the head of Jack Hamilton and his glancing header put the ball past Gaston. GOAL RAITH 2-0!
15 minutes later Raith once again only found themselves 1 goal ahead after Ali Adams, the sub goalkeeper, scored a potential Puskas award winning goal – hitting a volley on the turn from at least 30 yards that dipped just under the crossbar. The goal was so incredible even some Raith supporters applauded it. GOAL ARBROATH 2-1!
Arbroath equalised in the 81st minute after being awarded a penalty after the ball hit the hand of Scott Brown.
The penalty was well put away by Leighton McIntosh as he struck the ball down the middle and Dabrowski dived to his right-hand side. GOAL ARBROATH 2-2!
Raith very nearly won the game in the last minute with an O’Reilly header from a corner that was just tipped over the bar by Gaston.
Full Time: Raith 2-2 Arbroath
Manager Ian Murray joined RaithTV after today’s draw at Stark’s Park:
Raith Rovers are back at Stark’s Park this Saturday, with Arbroath the visitors in the both teams final fixture of 2023.
Rovers missed out on the chance of extending their lead at the top of the table last Friday, after sharing eight goals with Ayr United in a thrilling 4-4 draw, while Dundee United were being held nil nil at Hampden by Queen’s Park.
Saturday’s guests, Arbroath are now sitting ninth in the table, and had a missed opportunity of their own last Saturday, with a 1-1 draw with Dunfermline meaning they remained one point behind Inverness at the foot of the Championship.
Leading 1-0, Jim McIntyre’s side looked good for three points, but a set-to between two of their own players, Jermain Hylton and Jay Bird ended up with Bird receiving a second yellow card, and The Pars took advantage of their numerical superiority to bag a last minute equaliser.
It was the second time in a matter of weeks that Arbroath have conceded a last gasp goal to a Fife side at home, with Rovers triumphing 2-1 thanks to a 95th goal from Lewis Vaughan.
It kept up Rovers good record in this fixture in recent years, with Rovers now unbeaten in their last six meetings.
That said, consecutive wins are unusual in this fixture, with the last back-to-back victories being put together by Rovers way back in 2017.
Saturday’s match referee will be Euan Anderson.
Raith Rovers wins: 49
Arbroath wins: 34