Morton

V

Raith Rovers

Saturday 11th January 2014 

Kick off: 3.00pm 

Cappielow, Greenock

 

Admission Prices

Adults £15

Concessions £10

Parent & Child £18

Child (12 – 16 years) £5

Children under 12 years will be admitted for £3 next season, however they must be accompanied by an adult.

Children 5 years and under will be admitted free of charge when attending with an adult.

Match Preview:

After picking up just one point from the three matches over the festive period, Raith Rovers head to Greenock this weekend, as they look to get back to winning ways against a Morton side, who are themselves in need of a fillip, after losing there last eight league and cup matches.

Rovers will be taking on a very much new look Morton side at Cappielow, as Kenny Shiels has looked to strengthen his squad, following his appointment in December.

Attacking midfielder Barry McKay has joined on loan from Rangers, while ex-Rangers defender Darren Cole has also been snapped up. Jamie McCormack has made his way to Greenock after his release from Wigan, while David Robertson has arrived after leaving St Johnstone. Their biggest signing coup however, was the acquisition of ex-Scotland striker Garry O’Connor, who has been without a club since making 6 appearances for Russian second tier side Tom Tomsk in 2012.

Most, or perhaps even all will play some part this weekend, as Morton look to close the nine point gap between themselves and second bottom Cowdenbeath,

With two of the sides above Raith in the table, Falkirk and Hamilton playing each other on the same day, victory for Grant Murray’s side would guarantee a narrowing of the gap between themselves, and at least one of those sides, in the battle for a play-off spot.

Raith Rovers have a good recent record in this fixture, with 4 wins from the last ten league meetings, compared to Morton’s two.

What the Manager Said:

With last minute goals depriving Raith of all three points against Cowdenbeath, and a share of the spoils against Dundee, its very much been a case of “what might have been” for Rovers over Christmas and New Year. While the results didn’t go Raith’s way, Grant Murray was encouraged by the way the side equipped themselves in the most recent fixture against Dundee,

“We were obviously disappointed by the way the results panned out. Cowdenbeath was a fairly typical derby in that it was quite open and frenetic, and unfortunately, they did to us what we’ve done to them in the past, and snatch a goal in the dying seconds. After that we had a poor result at Livingston, and while you could argue that we were the better team in the first half, you’ll never win a game of football if you don’t take your chances.”

“I thought we looked a bit more like ourselves against Dundee. It was a good performance in a game that could have gone either way, but again, it’s late goals that’s decided the outcome. Overall, it’s disappointing, but I took positives from our last game, in that I felt we matched the league leaders on the day. That said, it was a game we were looking to win, so we’re hoping to get back to winning ways this weekend.”

One of those positives against Dundee was the performance of Reece Donaldson at the heart of the Raith defence. Donaldson impressed on his recent loan spell at Peterhead, and he did so again, against the Championship leaders,

“It was frustrating for Reece to be going without first team football, and we felt putting him out on loan, would benefit both himself, and the club. You always learn more from playing competitive football, rather than in the reserves, and I think his spell with Peterhead will have really benefited him. I’d no qualms about playing him against Dundee, and I thought he was fantastic on the day. We know he can play to that standard, and it’s up to him now, to maintain that level of performance, and really kick on from here.”

While most of the press attention this week has focused on Morton’s acquisition of Garry O’Connor, the Greenock side have in fact embarked on a major rebuilding plan, with 5 new faces arriving at Cappielow over the last few weeks. Murray is well aware of the galvanising effect the new players could have on the team,

“They’ve changed their manager mid-season and brought in Kenny Shiels, who is obviously wanting to bring his own guys in. It’s kind of similar to the process we went through in the Summer, when we let some players go, which allowed us to try something different. We know we’ll be coming up against a team with a lot of new players, and that could potentially bring a bit of freshness to them, which they’ve maybe been lacking. We just need to concentrate on our own performance though, and if we do that, we’ll give ourselves a chance of winning the game.”

Head-to-Head League Record at Cappielow:

Morton wins: 32 | Raith Rovers wins: 14 | Draws: 11

Morton goals: 111 | Raith Rovers goals: 55

Top Goalscorers in All Competitions:

Morton: Dougie Imrie 6 | Reece Hands 4 | Archie Campbell 3

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

Match Odds:

Morton: 2/1 | Raith Rovers: 11/10 | Draw: 23/10

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