Airdrie defeat ends Rovers’ cup run
Rovers faced Airdrie for the fourth time this season and welcomed Zak Rudden in for his first start and Keith Watson back from injury.
The game couldn’t have started better for the visitors: a good run down the left ended in multiple blocks from Rovers’ defenders but a clever pass from Charlie Telfer found Nikolay Todorov unmarked, and he made no mistake in firing past Kevin Dabrowski. Rovers 0-1 Airdrie
Rovers were then dealt a blow when Rudden had to go off through injury, and he was replaced by Jack Hamilton.
Unfortunately, for both sets of fans and those watching on BBC Alba, neither side really managed to create any further chances in the half, with the players struggling to adjust to the windy conditions.
Half-time: Raith Rovers 0-1 Airdrie
Rovers started slighter brighter in the second half and Dylan Easton will be disappointed at shooting over from the edge of the box after Airdrie failed to clear Kyle Turner’s corner.
Airdrie were next to threaten but Dabrowski did well to block low to his left after a dangerous counter-attack from the visitors.
Ian Murray made changes just on the hour mark by introducing Josh Mullin and Aidan Connolly, and both were involved for quickly different reasons. Firstly, Mullin did well defensively to get back and deny Airdrie what looked a certain goal, whilst Connolly found space at the other end but shot over.
Rovers’ final half-chance fell to Lewis Vaughan in the box, but his header lacked power and ended up safely in Josh Rae’s arms.
A frustrating evening for Rovers but now full attention goes back to the league as leaders Dundee Utd visit Stark’s Park in a fortnight’s time.
Full-time: Raith Rovers 0-1 Airdrie
by David Proudfoot
Ian Murray spoke to RaithTV after the Tust Trophy semi-final
Raith Rovers will be looking to arrest a poor run of form on Friday night, when they welcome Airdrie to Stark’s Park in the semi-final of the SPFL Trust Trophy.
A 3-2 loss to Inverness Caledonian Thistle at the weekend, made it four consecutive defeats for Ian Murray’s side, but they’ll face a tough task to reverse that trend, against a side they’ve failed to defeat in three meetings so far this term.
The Diamonds on the other hand are on a run of six games unbeaten, a sequence that includes an away win at Premiership side St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup, while they also defeated Raith 1-0 at the Excelsior at the start of January.
It was their second 1-0 win against Rovers in North Lanarkshire this season, although the points were shared when they last played in Kirkcaldy at the start of November.
Callum Smith opened the scoring a minute before the interval, but an equaliser from Nikolay Todorov completed the scoring, to earn Rhys McCabe’s men a deserved share of the spoils.
This will be the first time Rovers have played a Championship side in this season’s competition, having eliminated Cliftonville, Montrose and Hamilton in the previous rounds, while Airdrie reached the last four following wins over University of Stirling, Rangers B and a penalty shoot out victory over Morton.
Friday night’s match referee will be Matthew MacDermid.
Raith Rovers Wins: 19
Airdrie Wins: 12