Hibernian

V

Raith Rovers

Saturday 8th February 2014

Easter Road

Kick off: 2.00pm

Admission Details:

Hibernian FC have confirmed that tickets can be purchased up until kick off from a pod adjacent to the away support (South) stand. 

Adults- £20

Concessions – £10*

*Concessions are full time students, over 65s and under 16s.

Match Preview

Raith Rovers travel to Easter Road on Saturday, to take on Hibernian in the Fifth Round of the William Hill sponsored Scottish Cup. The two sides haven’t met since October 2001, when Hibs won a League Cup tie at Stark’s Park 2-0. Their last meeting in this competition was a far more successful one for Raith however, with Rovers winning 2-1 in a Third Round tie at Easter Road, back in 1998.

Both sides go into this game on the back of a poor sequence of results. Raith’s 1-0 reverse at Central Park last weekend, made it 6 games without a win, while Terry Butcher’s Hibs side have lost three, and drawn one, of their last four fixtures.

The new Hibs manager has attempted to strengthen during the January transfer window, bringing in three new faces to the Edinburgh sides squad. Danny Haynes was signed after the forward was released by Nottingham County, while defender Daniel Boateng has joined on-loan from Arsenal. Sunderland winger Duncan Watmore has also joined on-loan from Sunderland, and  the 19-year-old will be keen to impress, after recently making his debut for Sunderland, during their 3-1 win over Carlisle in the FA Cup.

Despite not winning the famous old trophy since 1902, Hibs have a good recent record in the competition, reaching the last two finals, only to lose out to Hearts and Celtic at the final hurdle. Raith also have a decent cup pedigree over the last eighteen months or so, and aside from reaching this seasons Ramsdens Cup final, they’ve also defeated Premiership opposition, after a 4-1 win at Ross County, in last seasons League Cup. Success over a top-tier side was almost repeated earlier in this campaign, when the Kirkcaldy club narrowly lost out on penalties to Hearts in the same competition.

If Raith are to progress to the Quarter-Final stage, then they’ll need to defend resolutely against the Premiership side, although they’ve made a habit of doing just that in cup-ties this season. In eight cup games, Rovers have managed to keep six clean sheets, with only Stirling Albion and Hearts managing to score against Grant Murray’s team.

Saturday’s match referee is Steven McLean.

What the Manager Said:

Raith return to Easter Road this weekend for the first time since a New Year’s First Division fixture in 1999. For manager Grant Murray, it’s an opportunity to arrest the sides poor form, and put in a performance that not only rewards the huge travelling support, but that also gives Raith a chance of making the Quarter-Final draw, 

“We were very disappointed with last Saturday. It was a big game for us, and a derby at that, so we were extremely disappointed at how it turned out. We’ve got a massive game to look forward to this weekend though, and we’ve got to pick ourselves back up.”

“It’ll be a big test for us at Easter Road, but it gives us a wee beak from the league, and after the great result we achieved in the last round against Dundee, it’s one we’re really looking forward to.”

“It should hopefully be a great day out for the fans, and it’s absolutely magnificent that around 1600 or so are going across for it. It’s a great draw for us, and we know we’re going there as underdogs, but this is cup tie football, and we’ll give it our best shot.”

“We’ll make sure that everyone is up for the game, and yes, we’ll hope that Hibs maybe have an off-day, but we’re confident we can go there, and give a good account of ourselves.”

“When you get to the latter stages of the competition, the chances are that you’re going to get a tough game, but the Raith fans turning up in such big numbers is a fantastic help. To have that behind you at an away game is a great boost, and in turn, we want to put in a great performance, and one which can allow us to really do something in the game.”

“Since I came to the club, we’ve had some good performances in the cup, and some great runs too. We’ve had disappointments as well, but you always look forward to them. When you get drawn against a side from the top tier, it always gives the players a lift, and sure, we’re away from home, but there’s nothing wrong with that. We’re going to a great venue to play our football, and we need to be confident in ourselves that we can go there, and do well.”

Raith striker Greig Spence  also spoke in the build up to the game, as the Scottish Cup paid a visit to the Kirkcaldy branch of Wiliam Hill on Wednesday afternoon. The forward believes that he’s fully recovered from his recent injury trouble, and is feeling sharp once again. With John Baird cup-tied for the trip to Easter Road, Spence is raring to go, if given the nod, 

“I’ve been on the bench the last few weeks after my injury, but I’m feeling back to full fitness now. I feel my confidence is back, so I’m chapping at the door to play. I really want to be involved, and I think I’ve got a lot to offer the team right now. I had an injury niggling away, and I wasn’t performing how I could. Hopefully I can be involved on Saturday, but I just need to push myself, and play well in the games I do get, and take my chances.”

Rovers have had some notable cup runs and results over the last season-and-a-half, and Spence feels that cup football suits Raith’s style of play, while their status as a full-time club, means that the gap between themselves, and some Premiership teams, isn’t insurmountable, 

“Hibs are a Premiership team, but we’re full-time as well, so fitness doesn’t really come into it. If we can perform the way we were playing earlier in the season, then there’s no reason we can’t get something from the game. We like to attack teams, which helps in cup games, so hopefully we have a go at Hibs on Saturday, and manage to get through.”

 

Head-to-Head Record in the Scottish Cup:

Hibernian wins: 3 | Raith Rovers wins: 4 | Draws: 6

Hibernian goals: 20 | Raith Rovers goals: 20

Top Goalscorers in all Competitions:

Hibernian: Liam Craig 9 | James Collins 6 | Paul Heffernan 3

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

Match Odds: 

Hibernian: 2/5 | Raith Rovers: 7/1 | Draw: 7/2

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