Rovers made to pay for missed chances
Over 1,500 Rovers fans travelled to Livingston for the Scottish Cup 4th Round tie. Fans’ favourite Kevin Dabrowski was back in goal and Rovers opted for the three at the back that was so successful against Dunfermline in the previous round.
Rovers started on the front foot and Lewis Vaughan was denied at close range by Shamal George in the home goal. It didn’t take Rovers long to find the lead though. Ross Millen’s long ball in behind was perfectly brought down by Jack Hamilton and he blasted a shot low into the net. Livingston 0-1 Rovers.
Although Rovers dominated the opening 15 minutes, Livingston gradually played their way into the game and started to threaten the away goal. The home side were afforded a great chance to equalise when Kyle Turner bundled over Andrew Shinnie in the box. It was Shinnie himself who stepped up for the penalty but his effort struck the post and Dabrowski, and stayed out.
Ten minutes later, though, the home side did draw level: a cross from the left found Jamie Brandon at the back post and he made no mistake from ten yards out. Parity restored after half an hour. Livingston 1-1 Rovers.
The half played out in a very stop-start manner with the best chance falling to Callum Smith but he headed wide.
Half-time: Livingston 1-1 Raith Rovers
Rovers started the second half in positive fashion and Aidan Connolly put a guilt-edged chance over the bar after a nice flick on from Hamilton. Smith was next to threaten but his volley went wide of the goal. Some neat dribbling on the edge of the box from Vaughan drew a free kick – with Rovers’ fans and players claiming it was inside the box – but his eventual effort went well over the bar.
The game was becoming an end-to-end affair. Stephen Kelly blasted over from just inside the box for the home side before Liam Dick’s shot was well tipped over by George in the home goal. Connolly was next to spurn a chance from close range as his effort was blocked on the six yard line.
Rovers were to rue the missed opportunities. With ten minutes left, a perfectly curled cross from the left was headed into the bottom corner by Daniel Mackay to give the home side the lead. Livingston 2-1 Rovers.
Rovers will definitely feel this was an opportunity to progress that got away from them; however, based on some very positive second half play, Rovers should go into league business next week hoping to find their way back to winning ways.
Full-time: Livingston 2-1 Raith Rovers
by David Proudfoot
© Eddie Doig 2024
Ian spoke to RaithTV after today’s defeat in the Scottish Cup:
After the disappointment of losing top spot in the Championship last weekend, Raith Rovers will be looking to get back to winning ways, when they face Livingston in a Scottish Cup fourth round tie.
This will be the third time the two sides have played each other in this competition in the last five years, and despite impressing on both occasions, Rovers lost out on both occasions.
In 2020, John Baird gave Rovers a deserved lead midway through the first period, but a late brace from Steven Lawless and a goal from Lyndon Dykes saw Livi into the next round.
It was a similar story a year later, when Lewis Vaughan opened the scoring in the first half, only for Jack Fitzwater to equalise in the second half, before Matej Poplatnik scored the winner for Livingston in extra time.
You have to go back eight years for Rovers last win against Saturday’s opponents, with Aidan Connolly the only scorer in a 1-0 Championship win.
Saturday’s match referee will be Grant Irvine
Head to Head Record:
Livingston wins: 29
Raith Rovers wins: 31