Raith Rovers

Saturday 1st February 2014

Central Park, Cowdenbeath

Kick off: 3pm

Admission Information

Adult – £15

Child/OAP – £8  

Raith Rovers fans must enter the ground via the Chapel Street entrance and can either stand on the terracing behind the goal or utilise the old stand

Any fans who require wheelchair access must enter the ground via the High Street end turnstiles and be accommodated in the new stand where the home fans will be accommodated

Match Preview:

Raith Rovers make the short journey to Central Park this weekend, to renew their local rivalry with Cowdenbeath, in what is a vital game for both clubs. For Raith,  victory could see them back in the play-off spots by Saturday evening, while the home side, buoyed by last weeks excellent 4-3 win at Hamilton, are looking to not only widen the gap between themselves and Morton, but also to close in on 8th placed Alloa.

Both sides have added to their playing squad in the January transfer window. While Rovers have brought in Fraser Mullen, and former First Division Players Player of the year John Baird, Cowdenbeath boss, Jimmy Nicholl has also been busy, bringing in 6 new faces. Midfielders, James Fowler and David Gold have been brought in on-loan from Kilmarnock and Hibernian respectively, while centre-half, Darren Brownlie has also joined on-loan from Partick Thistle. Ex-Dunfermline midfielder, Chris Kane has arrived, after being released by the East End Park club, while goalkeeper, Sebastian Usai has also signed, after leaving Swedish third tier side, AFC United. Nicholl has also added former Aberdeen midfielder, Sammy Stewart to the squad.

This fixture has often produced dramatic moments and high-scoring matches down the years, and the last few seasons have been no exception. Last season saw the 4 games produce 15 goals, while the current campaign has already seen the clubs share 13 goals in just 2 matches. The first, saw a last minute Greig Spence penalty secure all 3 points for Rovers in a 4-3 win in August, while Kane Hemmings turned the tables on Raith, with a last-minute equaliser earning Cowdenbeath a 3-3 draw in December.

Raith have the upper hand in the last 10 league meetings between the clubs, with 4 wins, compared to Cowdenbeath’s 1. Raith have only lost 3 times in their last 18 visits to Central Park in the league, although this year sees the 30th anniversary of the Blue Brazil’s biggest ever victory over Raith, a 5-1 home win, back in August 1984.

Saturday’s match will be refereed by George Salmond.

What the Manager Said:

Raith Rovers were quick to act this week, when news emerged that John Baird had left Partick Thistle. The striker enjoyed a previous spell with the Kirkcaldy club after signing in 2010, before leaving to join Dundee in 2012. Manager Grant Murray, feels that the return of the forward, will bring more than just goals to the team,

“John gives us another option up front, and it’s great to have him on board. I’ve played with him previously, so I know exactly what he’s like as a player. He’s certainly hungry to succeed, and keen to do well here. When he became available after his release from Partick, we were immediately interested, and I’m delighted that he’s signed.”

“He’s at a good age, and he’s keen to get back to doing what he does well, which is scoring goals. That won’t be all he’ll provide though, as he’s an experienced player, who the younger guys can all learn a lot from.”

Another player who’ll be available for Saturday’s trip to Cowdenbeath is Kevin Moon, after it emerged that there was a mix-up regarding his suspension,

“He was meant to be ruled-out for the Alloa game last week, but he was struggling for that one anyway, after he picked up a wee knock against Queen of the South. We’d been informed that he’d accumulated 6 bookings, but it transpired that in fact, it was only 5, which is great news for us.”

Rovers and Cowdenbeath have already produced a couple of goal laden derbies this season, but it could potentially be a much changed Cowdenbeath side from the one which took to the field at Stark’s Park in December,

“They’ve added a few new players this month, which is similar to when we discussed the Morton match recently. That’s what can happen when a club brings in a new manager mid-season, and they’ll have a wee bit of freshness about the place now. Plus, they’re coming off the back of an excellent result against Hamilton last week.”

“The fact it’s a derby match, adds another element to the game, and it’s one that we’re right up for, especially since our game was called off last week. This fixture had 7 goals at the start of the season, then 6 just before Christmas, so it’s certainly not lacked excitement. We should take a good bit of belief into the match, as we came away with a really good win the last time we were there, so we’re really looking forward to it.”

Head-to-Head Record at Central Park:

Cowdenbeath Wins: 12 | Raith Rovers Wins: 17 | Draws: 15

Cowdenbeath Goals: 65 | Raith Rovers Goals: 74

Top Goalscorers in all Competitions:

Cowdenbeath: Kane Hemmings 18 | Greg Stewart 8 | Jordan Morton 3

Raith Rovers: Calum Elliot 10 | Greig Spence 8 | Joe Cardle 5

Match Odds:

Cowdenbeath: 15/8 | Raith Rovers: 6/4 | Draw: 5/2

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