Raith Rovers

v

Morton

Saturday 26th October

Stark’s Park

Kick off: 3.00pm

Admission Prices

Adults – £17

Parent & Child – £20

Concessions* – £9

Students* – £13

Under 6 – Free

*Concessions are under 16s, over 65s. Jobseekers and full time students can only be purchased as a concession from the main office at Stark’s Park. Jobseekers must show satisfactory proof of entitlement along with photographic I.D and students must show a valid 2013/14 matriculation card – expired student cards will not be accepted.

Match preview:

Raith Rovers return to Stark’s Park for their first home league match since the end of September, to take on a Morton side who travel to Fife for the second consecutive weekend.

For Raith, last weeks 1-1 draw with Hamilton makes it just 1 defeat over 90 minutes in 15 league and cup games this season, while the current run of 8 league games without loss, makes this the clubs longest unbeaten sequence since they went 9 games unbeaten during the 2008/09 season, when they won the Second Division title.

Morton will be looking to bounce back from last weeks heavy 5-1 loss to Cowdenbeath, and while they’ve started the season poorly, manager Allan Moore has bolstered the squad with the recent signings of Craig Reid, and ex-Raith forward, Nacho Novo. The Greenock clubs league form may have failed to live up to most observers pre-season expectations, but their recent 1-0 League Cup win at Celtic Park, showed just what the squad is capable of.

The previous meeting between the two teams was a 1-1 draw at Cappielow at the end of August, an outcome that has been fairly common between the sides recently, with 5 of the last 10 league fixtures ending all-square. Of the remaining 5, Raith have a slender advantage over Morton, with 3 wins to 2.

Saturday’s match referee will be George Salmond.

What The Manager Said:

The situation didn’t look great at half-time on Saturday. When you’re 1-0 down and reduced to 10 men, away from home against the league leaders, it can be hard to see a way back. After an excellent second-half performance produced a hard-fought 1-1 draw however, Raith boss Grant Murray was full of praise for his players,

“I was really happy with how we recovered from being a goal, and a man down on Saturday. I thought we adapted well to all the tactical changes we had to make, and were really organised, despite guys playing in positions that they really weren’t used to.”

“Jason Thomson went to right centre-back, Liam Fox had to go to right-back, and Ross Callachan ended up wide on the left. It was a lot to ask of them, so all credit to the players for getting themselves back into the game. Overall, we’re very happy with the point we got.”

It isn’t the first time that the team have produced a great performance after having a man sent off this season, and the Raith boss was keen to stress that while organisation is crucial in those circumstances, belief and spirit is equally as important,

“When you go down to ten men, the players need to concentrate that bit more, and to be honest, they need to up their game and dig that bit deeper, especially when it’s against a team as good as Hamilton, who are difficult enough to play against with eleven players, never mind ten.”

“I thought the lads kept a great shape about them, and were really disciplined, especially at the start of the second half, when it was so important to keep it tight. At that point, the main aim was just to keep ourselves in the game, and give ourselves a chance, which we obviously did. After we got the goal, you could see the confidence it gave us, and we started playing the ball around really well. What you don’t want to do is get carried away and start pushing too many men forward in those circumstances, as you can leave yourselves open, so I thought we did really well.”

After Morton’s 5-1 defeat to Cowdenbeath last week, Murray is expecting Allan Moore’s players to produce a big reaction to it,

“They’ll be trying to make amends for that loss at Central Park. I’ve no doubt that the players who were involved last week would have been hurting after it. On top of that, they’ve got a big game on Wednesday in the quarter-final’s of the League Cup, so everyone who’s involved on Saturday will be desperate to prove themselves, and stay in the team for that game against St. Johnstone.”

Morton may have started the season slowly, but with two new signings, and a recent cup win over Cetic still fresh in the mind, Raith will have to be wary of their opponents, no matter what their league position may currently be,

“To get a result like they did at Celtic was fantastic, so they’re certainly capable of producing results. With us being the home team, then the onus is on us that little bit more, but they’ve just added to their squad with a couple of new signings, and they’ll be coming here looking for a win, so we need to be ready for that.”

Overall Head-to-Head League Record at Stark’s Park:

Raith Rovers wins: 26 | Morton wins: 15 | Draws: 16

Raith Rovers Goals: 94 | Morton Goals: 61

 Top Goalscorers In All Competitions:

Raith Rovers: Greig Spence 8 | Calum Elliot 7 | Joe Cardle 5

Morton: Dougie Imrie 5 | Reece Hands 4 | Archie Campbell 3

 Match Odds:

Raith Rovers 4/6 | Morton 3/1 | Draw 13/5

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