Nine crazy minutes costs Rovers dearly
Rovers made one change to the side that went out of the cup to Livingston last week, with Euan Murray coming in to replace Kyle Turner.
Inverness went with a new-look defence with Jeremiah Chiloka-Mullen, Remi Savage and Cammy Kerr all starting.
After a slow start to the game it was Rovers that edged ahead in the 25th minute. Josh Mullin’s corner was perfectly flighted for Jack Hamilton to attack, and he made no mistake heading down from close range. Rovers 1-0 ICT.
Rovers’ lead, however, only lasted five minutes. A perfectly weighted through ball from Nathan Shaw put on-loan, Alex Samuel in one-on-one, and he comfortably finished the chance under Kevin Dabrowski. Rovers 1-1 ICT.
This sparked Inverness into life and they took the lead just five minutes later. Cameron Harper’s cross wasn’t cleared by Rovers and an opportunist half-volley from Samuel found the bottom corner. Rovers 1-2 ICT.
The nine minutes of madness – and some Samuel magic – was complete when he turned in a corner from 6 yards out to give the visitors a two goal cushion, and complete his hat-trick.
Half-time: Raith Rovers 1-3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Rovers made half-time changes with the introduction of Dylan Easton new signing Zak Rudden, as well as a formation change to four at the back. Unfortunately, Rovers lost Hamilton to a shoulder knock in the 50th minute however it didn’t stop Rovers from getting back into the game. Rudden flicked on a pass from Liam Dick which put Lewis Vaughan through on goal. Rovers’ top scorer made no mistake by slotting past Mark Ridgers at the near post. Rovers 2-3 ICT.
Unfortunately for the home fans, Rovers failed to really trouble Inverness beyond that moment, with the only real half-chance falling to Vaughan but he put over with Rudden claiming for a penalty – although it would have been soft.
The dip in form continues for Rovers, who take a break from league business to play Airdrie in the SPFL Trust Trophy Semi-Final on Friday.
Full-time: Raith Rovers 2-3 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
by David Proudfoot
Ian Murray talked to RaithTV after the match v Inverness:
Raith Rovers return to league business at Stark’s Park this Saturday, with Duncan Ferguson’s Inverness Caledonian Thistle the visitors.
Last weekend saw Rovers eliminated from the Scottish Cup at the hands of Livingston, despite taking an early lead through Jack Hamilton.
That fifth minute opener was equalised just after the half hour mark through Jamie Brandon, and Daniel McKay’s 82nd minute meant Livi had dismissed Rovers from this competition three times in five seasons, despite Rovers taking the lead on each occasion.
Raith will be looking to bounce back this Saturday, against a side they have an excellent record against this term.
Jamie Gullan’s late goal was enough to take all three points in September, and it was an even later strike from the same player which won the return game in Inverness last month.
Rovers were trailing with four minutes to go, only for Lewis Vaughan to get an equaliser to seal a point, before Gullan stepped forward to grab a 94th winner from the penalty spot.
Inverness currently sit eighth in the Championship table, one point ahead of second bottom Queen’s Park, but they do go into this one on the back of a comfortable 4-0 Scottish Cup win over Broomhill.
Saturday’s match referee will be Dan McFarlane
Raith Rovers wins: 9
Inverness Caledonian Thistle wins: 23