The Joy of Five
Raith looked to build on last week’s home win over Partick hosting Greenock Morton. However the Rovers lined up without Dave McGurn in goal – Ross Laidlaw making his senior debut. The Rovers had another debutant in right back Jason Thomson who’s joined on loan from Hearts. Otherwise it was as you were for the home eleven. Morton also had a young keeper, McGinlay, making only his second senior start.
After only 45 seconds Laidlaw was called into action diving full length to push a shot from O’Brien wide. A keeper will always look to get an early touch however Ross had to be alert when Bachirou’s shot was not re-directed on target by McDonald. At the other end McGinlay dealt easily with a header. Twice in succession Ross had to take a curling effort then another shot – the big lad was making things look easy so far.
Morton were trying to use the pace of Campbell and McDonald and after the visitors early flurries the home support were pleased to see a bit of Raith pressure. In the 10th minute ex-Ton man Graham couldn’t quite get the ball to sit for him in the box and the Rovers got some good possession. O’Brien chose to be more direct running up the middle but his shot from the edge of the box went a yard wide.
Jason Thomson had the first of a few foray’s forward, perhaps enjoying being in a side more willing to play football than those he was with earlier this season. As both sides tried to get the upper hand and a heavy shower passed Tidser had a wayward effort from 24 yards. Young’s cross was met by Campbell who’s first time shot from 6 yards hit the side netting. Baird forced a save shooting on the angle then O’Brien again ran at the Raith defence before shooting wide. Ex-Par Young then had a go but wasn’t close.
The wayward efforts from the Ton were punished when Brian Graham scored. Alan Walker’s free kick into the 6 yard box and after a stramash big Brian put in from close range. Morton looked for an instant response but Tidser’s free kick hit the wall. Hamill got into the box then another Morton free kick hit the wall. The last incident of the half saw Brian Graham thrown to the ground in the box but Salmond didn’t penalise the overly vigorous defender.
The Rovers support would have wanted a good start to the second half – a goal in about 16 seconds was probably more than they expected. From centre the ball a long ball was half knocked out and Davidson dinked the ball forward. Baird got onto it and crossed well from the by-line to the back post where Graham scored between the legs of the keeper despite the attentions of two defenders. That’s 4 in 3 games for the big striker.
Hill headed wide then Thomson again ran at the visitors. As the Rovers pushed on it was 3:0 in the 59th minute. Walker headed on Laidlaw’s long kick and Baird had space to pick his spot shooting across the exposed McGinlay. Moments later the visitors keeper was again hung out to dry by his defence when Evans lost the ball cheaply having been closed down by Graham. Baird’s one-two with Walker saw John blast the ball at goal, McGinlay did well to tip the powerful effort over.
The home side were playing well with their heads were up and Morton were struggling. Despite a couple of Morton changes Raith continued to threaten Graham, Baird and Davidson almost getting on the end of dangerous moves. In the 80th minute Morton won a corner, nothing came of it but it was their first opportunity of the second half. Things could have got worse for the remaining visiting support but Salmond judged Tidser’s two handed shove on Casalinuovo not to merit action.
Ton saw a header from a free kick go wide before the Rovers wrapped it up. Jamie Walker was on by now and he avoided a lunging challenge before passing to Damion. The big man gave him a great ball back and Jamie slotted home easily to make it four. Three minutes later young Jamie was at it again he picked up the ball at the edge of the centre circle and ran forward before passing to Williamson who calmly picked his spot. Five nil.
Morton were hoping for the whistle and Weatherston was eluded by Jamie Walker and the big man cynically hauled him back and was rightly booked. As Allan Walker lined up the free kick near the corner flag the Rovers crowd chanted, “We want six!” The home support were disappointed – but probably not very disappointed – that the game ended only five nil.
This was a great performance meriting the result. Hill, Graham and Baird did well but there were no bad performances, the defence did particularly well shackling Morton’s speedy front men. Ross Laidlaw will probably not have many easier games however his opposite number will not look back on the 90 minutes with much joy.
After 11 minutes the fans in the South Stand could see a double rainbow. After 6 points and 7 goals in 2 games at Starks Park there’s no place like home.
Photos: Tony Fimister
A delighted John McGlynn chats about the best result of the season
Allan Moore spoke to Davie about an obviously disappointing result for his team.
Davie spoke with Ross Laidlaw about his first time starting between the posts
The 50/50 winning ticket was picked by Michelle Fairful celebrating her 18th Birthday. Winning number was 30 06 09 and a healthy total of £425 was presented by Michelle to Vince Wallace from Kirkcaldy, pictured with Michelle and his son Liam Wallace.
A cheque for £1000 presented to Mario Caira by Michelle Fairful, Gordon Adamson and Ben Millar representing the Supporters club received from the sale of 2012 Calendars commissioned by the Supporters Club, designed and photographed by club photographer Tony Fimister with additional photographs by Jim Foy.
Photos: Tony Fimister