Derby delight in Dunfermline
Rovers headed west along the A92 for the third time this season with Rovers’ fans still revelling in the 3-0 cup victory in November. This time Rovers were visiting on league business and keen to keep the pressure on Dundee Utd at the top of the table.
Dunfermline were first to threaten but a well worked corner flashed across the face of goal with no takers. This was quickly followed by a similar chance from the other side, but again the ball drifted wide.
Despite the early pressure it was Rovers that broke the deadlock: Josh Mullin’s free kick was whipped into the six yard box and Daniel O’Reilly was on hand to prod home after Lewis Vaughan’s effort was saved by Deniz Mehmet. Dunfermline 0-1 Rovers.
Rovers continued to put pressure on Dunfermline and Mullin saw his snapshot well saved by Mehmet. However, in a moment of magic from Ben Summers the hosts managed to restore parity in the 38th minute. His mazy run took him past three players before blasting into the bottom corner. Dunfermline 1-1 Rovers.
Half-time: Dunfermline 1-1 Raith Rovers
Rovers started the second half well and retook the lead five minutes in. Again Daniel O’Reilly was the Rovers’ hero as his determination to beat the defenders to the cross ball paid dividends with him getting his and Rovers’ second goal. Dunfermline 1-2 Rovers.
Dunfermline did put pressure on to find an equaliser but found Rovers’ defence in resolute mood who were also aided by a couple of fine saves from Kevin Dabrowski, and the Pars drew a blank.
Third win for Rovers at East End Park and the bragging rights remain in Kirkcaldy.
Full-time: Dunfermline 1-2 Raith Rovers
by David Proudfoot
© Eddie Doig 2024
Manager Ian Murray talked to RaithTV after today’s win:
Double goal-scorer Dan talked to RaithTV after today’s win.
After two consecutive draws at Stark’s Park, Rovers play the role of first footers on Tuesday afternoon, when they head to East End Park for the fifth Fife derby of the season.
Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Arbroath means Rovers ended the year three points clear at the top of the Championship, although Dundee United have played a game fewer.
Tuesday’s opponents, Dunfermline Athletic were involved in a similar scenario themselves at the weekend, losing a two goal lead slip at Somerset Park against Ayr United, eventually drawing two each, which sees James McPake’s men fourth in the table, two points clear of fifth place Airdrie.
Rovers have won the last three encounters between the teams this season, after drawing the first encounter in the League Cup back in July.
Sam Stanton scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at East End Park in August, and it was the same scoreline and scorer in the return fixture at Stark’s Park in October.
It was a far more straightforward victory in the Scottish Cup in November though, as Jack Hamilton, Stanton again and Lewis Vaughan scored the goals in a 3-0 win.
If Rovers can win at East End Park again on Tuesday, it’ll be the first time they’ve won four consecutive games against the Pars since 1981.
Gordon Wallace’s side won all three of the derbies in the 1980/81 campaign, as well as winning the final encounter of the 79/80 season.
Tuesday afternoon’s match referee will be Graham Grainger.
Raith Rovers wins: 46
Dunfermline Athletic wins: 52